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1 29.2: B 43/994 


Archeological and Historical Studies 

wBBSkm 11,500 Years Along the Savannah River 

Sharyn Kane & Richard Keeton 

Book Design and Layout: 
Sharyn Kane & Richard Keeton 
Marietta, Georgia 

Technical Consultants: 

Southeastern Archeological Services, Inc. 

Athens, Georgia 

Cover photograph of the Savannah River by Jonas Jordan, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 


Archeological and Historical Studies 
of 11,500 Years Along the Savannah River 

Sharyn Kane & Richard Keeton 

Funded by the 

U. S. Army Corps of Engineers 

Savannah District 

Administered by the 

Interagency Archeological Services Division 

National Park Service — Southeast Region 

Atlanta, Georgia 

1993; •yg j r „ 

Second Edition 1994 A r~ ££ - 

NOV 9 |994 

Library of Congress Number: 


In 1971, President Richard Nixon signed Executive Order 11593, Protection 
and Enhancement of the Cultural Environment, which required federal 
agencies to take the lead in establishing programs for the protection of 
significant historic resources "for the inspiration and benefit of the peo- 
ple. . . ". This landmark directive has been a central force in the development 
and ultimate success of cultural resource management programs that have 
required close cooperation between federal and state agencies. 

Two federal agencies, in consultation with our state governments, have 
played key roles in these endeavors: the National Park Service and the U.S. 
Army Corps of Engineers. With the Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake 
Cultural Resource Investigations Program, these agencies combined forces to 
produce a truly outstanding result. This multi-million dollar, twenty-year 
program has yielded a vast array of invaluable information on the cultural 
history of the upper Savannah River in the central Piedmont of Georgia and 
South Carolina. 

The National Park Service and the Corps have placed heavy emphasis on 
producing a popular account that is both informative and entertaining. This 
volume is easy to read and successfully informs the reader. To the extent 
that this popular account has been prepared "for the inspiration and benefit 
of the people, " we believe it to be an exemplary effort. 

We applaud these efforts to inform the public of the rich cultural heritage of 
our states. 



C ..... Governor Governor 

State of Georgia State of South Carolina 


While it will always be true that archeologists need to communicate effectively among 
themselves, it now is abundantly clear that unless they also communicate effectively with the 
general public, ...all else will be wasted effort. 

—McGimsey and Davis 1977: 89 

To understand what is happening today or what will happen in the future, I look back. 

—Oliver Wendell Holmes 

Beneath These Waters is an interpretation for a general audience of archeological and 
historical research conducted in the Richard B. Russell Multiple Resource Area from 1969 
through 1985. Since the original publication of this volume in 1993, a companion volume 
entitled In Those Days, African-American Life Near the Savannah River was published in 
1994. In Those Days is based on archival and oral history research conducted in the early 
1980's. The research preceded building of the Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake, a U.S. 
Army Corps of Engineers Project in the upper Savannah River Valley, at the Georgia-South 
Carolina boundary. In assembling non-technical accounts of at least 1 1 ,000 years of human 
occupation in four counties surrounding the project area, emphasis has been placed on 
explaining the information so that it will be entertaining and easily understood, while 
retaining accuracy. 

In preparing Beneath These Waters, we believe that professional writers Sharyn Kane and 
Richard Keeton have shown their adeptness in the practice of public writing on technical 
subjects. Kane and Keeton' s writings have appeared in highly competitive forums, and they 
have also won awards for their work. Yet, because they are not formally trained 
archeologists or historians and were unfamiliar with the world of federal contracting, they 
faced distinct disadvantages in taking on the task of writing this book. Their assignment 
necessitated a massive crash course in archeological method and general practice, aided in 
large part by the existing and excellent Richard B. Russell Cultural Resources Investigations 
Program technical summary volumes. Still, this unfamiliarity with technical know-how gave 
them an important advantage in writing the RBR popular history: nearly complete objectivity 
in viewing the overall project and its results, unencumbered by the predictable baggage of 
professional biases, cultivated styles, and emotions attached to a project of this magnitude 
and importance. 


John H. Jameson, Jr. 

Interagency Archeological Services Division 

National Park Service, Southeast Region 



Writing about what human life was like over 1 1,500 years could be an insurmountable task. 
Yet, as we delved deeper into the stacks of reports about the upper Savannah River region, the 
curtain over the past began to part, and the people who once lived near the river slowly came 
to life. Their stories and our long look back filled us with deep appreciation for the struggles and 
triumphs of people in all epochs. 

Many individuals were helpful in providing information about the area's people, particularly 
the archeologists, historians, and other scientists who wrote about their research in detailed 
accounts published in the Russell Papers. David G. Anderson and J. W. Joseph condensed these 
reports in two technical volumes, with contributors James E. Cobb, Mary Beth Reed, and Joseph 
Schuldenrein. David Anderson also provided more information and illustrations to enhance this 
public volume. 

John Ehrenhard and John Jameson of the National Park Service, who guided our own research 
and writing efforts, were invariably helpful and professional. We owe a special debt to John 
Jameson for his conception of how the story should be told, helpful design suggestions, and 
archeological insights. He also led us on an informative tour of the lost town of Petersburg and 
many other sites. Help from Margaret Snyder, contracting officer, is also appreciated, as well 
as the excellent editing suggestions from Virgina Horak. Dean Wood, Kay Wood, Tom Gresham, 
and Chad Braley of Southeastern Archeological Services in Athens, Georgia, served as technical 
advisers, sharing their expertise and reading the manuscript for technical accuracy. 

Many of those who deserve credit made their contributions before we arrived to write this 
final account. Among them was the late Victor Carbone who had a vision of how the Russell 
studies should be conducted. He was a driving force behind much of the planning, cooperation 
between agencies, and quality of research and reports. He and the Atlanta-based Interagency 
Archeological Services Division of the National Park Service developed detailed descriptions of 
work leading to the research contracts. He also saw that competitive contracting procedures went 
beyond making awards for low bids, and evaluated researchers' abilities to produce the best 
work. At the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, James E. Cobb, District Senior Archeologist, and 
his successor, Paul D. Rubenstein, were instrumental in shaping and guiding the investigations, 
while Colonel Tilford C. Creel, the District Engineer, was also important in planning the entire 
project. Bennie Keel, Ed Hession, Harry Scheele, Michael Alterman, and Will Husted, all with 
the National Park Service staff in Atlanta, also played prominent roles. David McCullough and 
Judy Wood represented the Corps in the preparation of this volume and provided helpful advice. 

Finally, we would like to thank our friends who were especially kind. Don Perry man loaned 
us useful books, and fed and nurtured us when the deadline loomed, while Dan Thalimer and 
Carol Thalimer provided computer help. Cary Cleaver Voigt, Artists-In-Education program 
director for the Georgia Council for the Arts, was an understanding sponsor during much of the 
manuscript preparation. King Fogle and Linda Moorer also provided useful books and 
suggestions. And a special nod to Ann Ritter, who unselfishly encourages other writers. Thanks 
also to our families and other friends, most of whom, like us, had no idea what a rich past a 
stretch of a river could have, and encouraged us to share the story. 

Richard Keeton Sharyn Kane 



Table of Contents 


Part I: The Prehistoric People 

Chapter 1 : 

Chapter 2: 

Chapter 3: 

Chapter 4: 

Chapter 5: 

Chapter 6: 

Chapter 7: 

Chapter 8: 

Chapter 9: 

Chapter 10: 

Along the River Bank 

The First to Arrive 

A Break with the Past 

More Wandering, Less Room 

A Wealth of Discoveries 

A Leap Forward 

Grains of Pollen, Mounds of Earth 

Ceremony in Life and Death 

Villages Found and Lost 

Conquistadors and a Princess 

Part II: The Historic People 

Chapter 11 
Chapter 12 
Chapter 13 
Chapter 14 
Chapter 15 
Chapter 16 
Chapter 17 
Chapter 18 
Chapter 19 
Chapter 20 
Chapter 2 1 

Land of Promise 

Liberty or Death 

Ghost Towns and a King 

From Cradle to Grave 

Fortunes Won and Lost 

Gone, But Not Forgotten 

Risky Ventures, Rising Waters 

The Last of an Era 

"Rushing Through the Night" 

Mother to Daughter, Father to Son 

A Binding Thread 




Sites, Studies, and Investigators 

















Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation 


In the following pages, you will find the 
story of a place and the people who lived there 
over the past 1 1 ,500 years. The many intricate 
and fascinating details were gathered by ex- 
perts in an archeological and historic study 
with few equals in the eastern United States. 
The findings, however, of this scientific un- 
dertaking far surpass regional significance and 
have much broader importance because they 
chronicle human development and events 
significant in our national heritage. 

The setting is along a 28-mile stretch of the 
Savannah River, extending into Elbert and 
Hart Counties in Georgia, and Abbeville and 
Anderson Counties in South Carolina. This 
area, encompassing 52,000 acres, was chosen 
for investigation by the United States Army 
Corps of Engineers Savannah District because 
it would be most affected by the Corps' con- 
struction of the Richard B. Russell Dam and 
Lake, named in honor of Georgia's late U.S. 
senator. The dam, which began operation in 
1984, was built in Elbert and Abbeville Coun- 

ties, about 65 miles north of Augusta, Geor- 
gia. But before construction began, archeolo- 
gists, historians, architects, geologists, bota- 
nists, and other experts began studying prehis- 
toric and historic sites within the vicinity. 
Their investigations probed human lifeways 
from the ancient Paleolndians until modern 

These efforts to interpret the region's past 
were prompted by a federal law, the Archaeo- 
logical and Historic Preservation Act, and a 
Presidential Executive Order, which mandate 
study of the cultural history where federal 
construction projects are planned. The intent 
of these requirements is to preserve and inter- 
pret knowledge "for the inspiration and benefit 
of the people," information that otherwise 
might be permanently lost. There was a spe- 
cial urgency in the case of the Russell investi- 
gations because water backed up by the dam 
would eventually submerge much of the land- 
scape. Altogether some 730 historical and 
prehistorical sites were located and examined. 

Figure 1: The Richard B. Russell Dam, viewed from the visitor's overlook on the South 
Savannah River, changed life along the waterway for many. 

Thirty locations were chosen for more thor- 
ough research because they contained better 
preserved remains or more representative 
samples of certain time periods or cultural 

The Atlanta-based Interagency Archeologi- 
cal Services Division of the National Park 
Service agreed to work with the Corps of 
Engineers Savannah District to oversee the 
massive project, called the Richard B. Russell 
Cultural Resource Mitigation Program. Among 
the two agencies' many duties was the selec- 
tion of the 30 sites for more intensive study, 
after consultation with the Georgia and South 
Carolina State Historic Preservation Offices. 
Corps of Engineers and National Park Service 
employees then cooperated in writing and 
awarding contracts to experts to conduct the 
investigations. Representatives from the two 
agencies then supervised the subsequent scien- 
tific work in the field and follow-up laboratory 

The Russell project serves as a model of 
how cooperating agencies managed one of the 
most complete regional investigations ever. 
Research spanned nearly 20 years, and hun- 
dreds of specialists from many different parts 
of the country were involved. Their techniques 
included the time-honored archeological prac- 
tice of digging in the ground, as well as por- 
ing over historical documents, analyzing 
specimens in laboratories, and interviewing 
local residents. Professionals collected and 
interpreted data about the people who once 
occupied the land and the world they had 
inhabited, and compiled the results in more 
than 20 extensive reports and many other 
monographs that comprise the Russell Papers. 
These writings form an invaluable record for 
those scientists who in coming years will seek 
to build on the wealth of information already 

But the Russell Project serves a broader 
audience than just scientists. There is now a 
museum and visitor's center near the dam on 

the Georgia side of the river, for example, 
with exhibits highlighting aspects of what was 
learned about earlier life. And this publication, 
the final step in the long journey of research 
and documentation, is written to explain the 
findings so that everyone can share the wide 
range of knowledge gained. Consequently, the 
information is condensed and presented free of 
many scientific and technical terms that might 
be unfamiliar to most readers. 

Yet, no significant findings are neglected, 
and every effort has been made to present 
material accurately and to demonstrate its 
importance. Where appropriate, explanations 
are also given describing the methods used to 
gather and decipher data, steps often of such 
complexity and difficulty that they reveal the 
great skill and dedication researchers brought 
to their tasks. 

Primary sources for this publication were 
the researchers' own accounts in the Russell 
Papers. These documents contain extensive 
discussion of techniques used and expert 
interpretations of what was found. David G. 
Anderson and J. W. Joseph later condensed 
the writings of the individual reports into two 
volumes for a more technical audience, and 
their work was also especially helpful. 

Most references to archeological theories 
come from the Russell Papers and other docu- 
ments listed in the bibliography, although in 
several instances the authors interviewed 
experts directly. And, because the purpose of 
this volume is not merely to explain what was 
learned about people near the Savannah River, 
but to present the inhabitants' experiences 
within the context of their times, events and 
findings outside Georgia and South Carolina 
are described to give a broader perspective. 

The authors were encouraged to follow 
such a course, and have included information 
that did not appear in previous Russell Papers. 
But those studies, and the work they represent 
of so many individuals, are the foundation of 
the story you are about to read. 


The Prehistoric People 

Qua ratione Floridenfes de feriis rebus XXIX 


Figure 2: Early people in the Southeastern United States sometimes engaged in a ritualistic drinking of a hot black 
beverage before important deliberations. They often used a large seashell as a cup. 

Figure 3: Late in prehistoric times, disputes among groups led to building protective fences around communities. This 
one was recreated to show how tree poles were aligned in the ground. 

Chapter 1 : Along the River Bank 

In the 1400' s, about a century before the 
Spanish adventurer Hernando de Soto and his 
army hacked their way through the dense 
growth of Georgia and South Carolina search- 
ing for treasure, there was a prehistoric village 
on a terrace overlooking the Savannah River. 
Inhabitants of this village, who feared attack, 
shielded themselves from their enemies by dig- 
ging a long ditch that nearly enclosed their 
entire settlement. In places, the ditch was 
almost eight feet wide and four feet deep. 

As the people, using handmade tools of 
bone, wood, and stone, had slowly hollowed 
out the ditch, they loaded the dirt into baskets, 
which they carried back towards the village. 
When they were about 20 feet behind the 
ditch, they began forming another defense 
against assault— a stockade fence paralleling 
the ditch. 

They dumped basket after basket of dirt 
into a long, low embankment to form the base 
of the fence. Then they trampled this soft 
earth with their feet and dug a small trench in 
the accumulated earth. The trench was the 
foundation for fence posts, which they closely 
aligned, creating the fort-like palisade between 
themselves and the dangers lurking outside. 

Others who had lived on the same river 
terrace about 100 years earlier had felt little 
need for such deterrents from hostile. forces. 
Yet, they were not completely free either. 
They paid tribute to a powerful leader living 
in a ceremonial center built around an earthen 
mound about seven miles away. The terrace 
dwellers gave part of their hard-earned food to 
this ceremonial chief, including the choicest 
parts of deer they had slain. They rendered 
this tribute because they thought the chief was 
favored by the gods and served as their inter- 
mediary with the spirits. 

But the later villagers, who protected their 
homes with the ditch and stockade, were 
obligated to feed only their own people. They 
paid no duties to distant leaders, but kept all 

their game, which they butchered on a small 
bit of land about 400 yards from their houses 
beyond a swampy marsh. 

The men and boys of the community kept 
their hunting and fighting skills honed through 
athletic games performed as entertainment for 
the other villagers who gathered along the 
edges of a big plaza to watch. A favorite sport 
was the "chunkey" game, usually played by 
two people. Each contestant held a spear or 
long pole, which he tried to throw exactly 
where he thought a rolling chunkey stone 
tossed in front of the opponents would eventu- 
ally stop. The player whose spear landed 
closest to the stone won. They repeated the 
contest many times, sharpening both their 
throwing and estimating abilities, important 
skills for hunters and warriors. 

They also increased their proficiency with 
bows and arrows in another way. A small hill 
of dirt was heaped in a part of the plaza where 
a mighty tree post stood, towering 30 to 40 
feet high. From time to time, an agile youth 
shinnied up the post all the way to the top to 
hang something small that he and his compan- 
ions then used as a target for their arrows. 

But hunting supplied only some of the 
community's food. Villagers grew one of their 
most important staples, corn, in the fertile land 
deposited over many years by the overflowing 
river close by. The river itself supplied more 
nourishment in the form of fish, while the 
people gathered from nearby forests the acorns 
and hickory nuts and other plant foods that 
supplemented their diet. 

Important matters affecting villagers were 
settled in a round council house, about 50 feet 
wide, erected near the plaza. Here the village 
leader presided, with his counselors in atten- 
dance, over discussions of pressing issues, in- 
cluding war. 

Their decision making was often accompa- 
nied by a ceremonial pouring and drinking of 
a powerful hot liquid called a-cee or black tea. 

Jit ™ 

*3 lb 

/ ' ^^f 


Figure 4: Some 500 years after prehistoric Indians occupied a village in Rucker's 
Bottom near the Savannah River, archeologisls began excavating the site. 

Drunk from a special large seashell, the 
beverage was extracted from holly leaves and 
contained potent quantities of caffeine. The 
men drank copiously until they vomited, which 
they considered beneficially purifying, giving 
them clear heads, hearts, and stomachs for 
resolving issues important to their people. 
Those excluded from the deliberative meetings 
performed other duties, such as keeping the 
council house clean and swept of debris or 
supplied with river cane, burned for light. 

To sleep, the people retired to homes of 
varying sizes and shapes arranged around the 
plaza. Some dwellings were modest construc- 
tions, no wider than ten feet, while others 
spanned three times that much space. The 
shelters were built as either circles or rectan- 
gles shaped by wooden posts. For everyone, 
there were both winter and summer houses. 

The winter shelters were snug constructions 
covered with woven branches and a thick insu- 

lating clay for maximum warmth, while sum- 
mer homes were loosely made and open to 
allow cooling breezes to enter. 

Interspersed among the homes were storage 
sheds set above ground on four posts, which 
were greased with animal fat to thwart scav- 
enging creatures trying to get at the provisions 
kept inside. Like the winter houses, a layer of 
clay provided an exterior protective coating 
over the shed walls. Inside, the vital corn 
harvest and other foods rested on a cane floor. 

Life for the villagers was closely attuned to 
the changes brought by the seasons and to the 
river flowing steadily by them. In many ways, 
their lives were identical to those led by their 
ancestors. Mothers and fathers taught their 
children the same beliefs and customs they had 
learned from their parents, who had learned 
them from their parents, and so on for genera- 
tions. And when death came, family members 
were not buried in some isolated spot rarely 

Figure 5: An aerial view of the same Rucker's Bottom site shows the tremendous extent of field work accomplished by 
the close of examination in 1982. 

visited, but beneath the floors of their homes 
or in earth nearby. 

Then, as if carried away by a wisp of 
smoke, everyone was gone. No new children 
took up the traditions so carefully passed down 
over the years in this riverside setting. And 
not only did these people disappear, but others 
for miles along the waterway also vanished. 
When the Spanish arrived in 1540, they found 
only lonely miles of lush uninhabited land, all 
but empty of human beings. 

# * * * * 

Five-hundred years later, as part of one of 
the most extensive archeological undertakings 
of its kind, traces of these two long-abandoned 
settlements emerged in a place called Rucker's 

Bottom in northeast Georgia. 

From analyzing fragments, some as small 
as pollen grains and as ephemeral as pale 
stains in the dirt, and by studying accounts 
written by the earliest European explorers, 
archeologists pieced together a partial portrait 
of what life was like for these people who had 
left no written records of their own. 

But even with the abundance of knowledge 
gained in the years of investigations in the 
Russell Reservoir area, there are still blank 
areas on the canvas, still many remaining 
questions, questions that will keep those who 
study the human past occupied for many 
years. Among the more intriguing mysteries to 
be solved is why the people who once lived on 
this terrace overlooking the Savannah River 

• liuaaell Cave 

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i Ridge 

^ ^ f^ 

Clyde Ghi]ey*\ 

U«ntUmlU \ 

\ Van Creek^ 

ARucker's .Bottom 


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MiddUun \ ,'~ S - 

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Map 1: Important Paleolndian and Early Archaic archeological sites in the Southeast are shown, including those 
excavated in the Russell Reservoir Project Area (insert) in Georgia and South Carolina. 

Chapter 2: The First to Arrive 

9500 to 8000 B.C. 
The Paleolndian Era 

For two million years, the earth underwent 
a stark epoch geologists call the Pleistocene. 
This was a time when the uppermost portion 
of North America was covered by glaciers, 
thick ice sheets that shifted powerfully over 
the land, gouging out deep valleys and pushing 
huge boulders around as if they were pebbles. 
Near the end of this bitterly cold Ice Age, 
people first appeared along the Savannah 

These earliest arrivals must have been 
exceptionally hardy by modern standards. 
Strong enough to travel great distances by foot 
in the harshest weather, they carried with them 
what little they owned. With only stones and 
spears for weapons, they hunted animals, often 
many times their own size, for food and 
clothing. Their shelters were probably little 
more than temporary, but sturdy constructions 
of bent saplings, poles, and animal skins. 
While everyone— men, women, and child- 
ren—was vulnerable to the vagaries of nature, 
they lived in a hunter's paradise brimming 
with wildlife. 

From where these original people came, 
and how, are questions more readily answered 
than the exact time of their arrival and what 
brought them. But any inquiries about the 
distant human past are difficult to answer 
because of the shortage of archeological evi- 
dence. While there are consequently many 
points of debate among those who study pre- 
history, there is general acceptance that major 
human evolutionary changes took place in 
Africa, Europe, and Asia before the first 
inhabitants arrived in North America. The first 
people on this continent, then, were not indig- 
enous, or native to the land, but came from 
elsewhere. They were evolved to the point that 

we would recognize them as fellow human 
beings, despite probable stark differences in 

To understand how the initial settlers came 
to North America, scientists look to the last of 
the many great glacial advances and retreats. 
By 70,000 years ago, the final ice drama was 
underway. So much water froze that sea levels 
sometimes dropped as much as 300 feet below 
those of today. As seas shrunk, land mass 
grew, exposing earth previously covered by 
water. This transformation was crucial to 
human occupation of the continent because a 
stretch of earth was uncovered for a time 
connecting Siberia and Alaska at the Arctic 
Circle. This land bridge, today submerged 
again under the icy waters of the Bering Strait, 
was then easily wide enough for travelers to 
cross, which is what is thought to have hap- 

Perhaps these people of long ago were 
tracking game. Fossils show that animals of 
the time were the same on both the Siberian 
and Alaskan sides of the land bridge. But it is 
unlikely that we will ever know for certain 
what prompted this journey across the conti- 
nents. There is also doubt about when the first 
crossing occurred. The land link was exposed 
twice, between 50,000 and 40,000 years ago, 
and again between 28,000 and 10,000 years 
ago. Evidence is strong for human arrival 
during the latter part of the second period, 
although various archeologists argue that entry 
occurred much earlier. 

Their thinking is bolstered by possible 
artifacts, objects produced or shaped by peo- 
ple, discovered in Alabama, Pennsylvania, and 
in western states, which may indicate occupa- 
tion as distant as 30,000 years ago. Also, sites 

South America, including Flea Cave in the 
rugged mountains of Peru, have produced 
evidence suggesting human life there as long 
as 20,000 years ago or even earlier. These 
findings lead some to suggest that if people 
had reached South America that long ago they 
must have been in North America even soon- 
er. But that conclusion is not unanimous, and 
is unlikely to become so until further evidence 
is uncovered. 

There are also different theories about 
possible routes early people may have fol- 
lowed into North and South America. One 
proposed route follows the Pacific Coast, 
although no proof of this has been found so 
far. Another theory suggests that about 12,000 
years ago, people moved through Canada into 
what is now the United States. 

Setting the stage for this important event 
was a climatic change. Between 14,000 and 
12,000 years ago, the weather warmed slightly 

and the Canadian glaciers split apart, leaving 
a wide, ice-free corridor through the center of 
western Canada, a path that led straight into 
the American West. Now there was a relative- 
ly easy route leading south for animals and a 
people archeologists call Paleolndians. The 
name Paleolndian denotes members of a 
cultural tradition, a designation that separates 
them from later prehistoric inhabitants who are 
identified by other cultural traditions and titles. 

We can only speculate about how this early 
human migration occurred and whether small 
groups traveled simultaneously or arrived over 
a span of many years. For perspective about 
how long ago Paleolndians ventured here, 
consider that the Spanish explorer Hernando 
de Soto reached the continent just 450 years 

Few traces of human life can survive the 
natural ravages of 12,000 years, particularly in 
the wet climate and acidic soils of the south- 

Figure 6: A field worker scrapes dirt from an excavation unit, while another worker carefully sifts the dirt through 
a screen suspended from sapling poles to catch any artifacts or other small items. 


eastern United States, which destroy many of 
the clues important to tracking the past. As a 
result, uncertainty and ambiguity are inevitable 
companions to efforts to document this long- 
ago period of occupation. Fortunately, howev- 
er, one sign people existed usually withstands 
the worst circumstances— stone tools. 

Using scientific techniques— including 
studying the stratigraphy or layering of the soil 
where artifacts are found— archeologists have 
identified a particular type of sharpened stone 
spearpoint as the handiwork of the early 
Paleolndians. Called a Clovis point, its refine- 
ment and beauty belie the notion that the 
weapon was made haphazardly by unskilled 
hands. Indeed, the craftsmanship of Clovis 
points far exceeds that usually demonstrated in 
stoneworking in the thousands of succeeding 
years. A Clovis point eloquently conveys its 
creator's concern for symmetry and perfection 
as much as his need for a weapon. 

While they vary in size by several inches, 
Clovis spearpoints share a distinct lance or 
laurel-leaf shape and smooth straight groove 
up the center. The groove, called a flute, often 
reaches half way to the top of the point. 
Experts speculate that this feature helped 
hunters attach the point to a wooden or bone 
spear shaft. Strips of animal tendons or intes- 
tines were wrapped around the bottom of the 
point to secure it to the spear shaft. The sharp 
edges at the base of the spearpoint were typi- 
cally blunted to prevent them from cutting the 
binding. Some toolmakers even used a natural 
resin to glue their weapons together, as evi- 
denced by Clovis points found with bone 
foreshafts in southwest Montana. 

Some Clovis points have delicate parallel 
flaking with pronounced ridges along the sides 
resembling perfectly aligned ocean waves, 
which were painstakingly chipped out of the 
stones. Paleolndians also took care choosing 
the raw material for their weapons. Often they 
used chert or flint, favored for their superior 
qualities for flaking. Flaking is the removal of 
bits of stone to form the point. Clearly, there 
were many intricate steps required to produce 

the desired result— a precisely formed projec- 
tile as deadly as a bullet. 

How did prehistoric hunters use these 
devices and what were their prey? Animals of 
the late Ice Age included species such as the 
wolf and grizzly bear whose descendants still 
exist, although in drastically reduced numbers, 
as well as creatures that are now extinct. The 
majestic wooly mammoths fall among those 
vanished from the earth, perhaps in part 
because of the Paleolndians who hunted them. 

Like the elephant, which it resembled, the 
mammoth dwarfed all other creatures of the 
time, standing up to 12 feet tall and weighing 
thousands of pounds. Brown, shaggy hair 
protected its thick hide from the cold, while a 
pair of sharp tusks served as formidable de- 
fenses. Other than humans, however, the 
mammoth had no natural enemies. 

Proof that Paleolndians hunted the mam- 
moth is strong. Archeologists have actually 
found Clovis spearpoints lodged between a 
mammoth's rib bones. Other points were 
found close to fossilized mammoth skeletons in 
New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, 
and Montana. 

Hunting the mammoth required cunning and 
courage with only a stone point and spear as a 
weapon. If mammoths behaved similarly to 
their elephant counterparts, they were fiercely 
protective of their young. Mother elephants 
meet approaching danger with a terrifying 
charge. Stealth and planning, then, were 
crucial to the hunter's success, and even his 
own survival. 

Speculation about ancient hunting tech- 
niques comes partly from studies in Africa by 
archeologists such as George Frison of the 
University of Wyoming. Paleolndians likely 
did not confront an entire mammoth herd, but 
watched and waited until one animal strayed 
and became vulnerable. Preferred targets were 
the young, sick, and weak animals. A team of 
hunters cautiously approached the selected 
beast, staying downwind of their prey and the 
herd until they were close enough to throw or 
jam their spears into the mammoth's belly. 




Figure 7: Drawings of Clovis points from the Southeast show marks from shaping and sharpening. The black chert point 
from the Russell investigations is depicted in the upper right corner. 


But hitting their target far from assured 
success. A Clovis point was sharp enough to 
inflict a fatal wound, but death of the giant 
creatures was rarely immediate. Repeated 
spear jabs were necessary at perilously close 
range, and there were always the possibilities 
that the wounded mammoth could thrash 
violently and crush the hunters or charge them 
with a speed remarkable for its enormity. Or, 
if it was still strong enough to flee, hunters 
had either to abandon the pursuit or track the 
animal for many hours, even days, until it 
weakened enough for them to inflict further 
wounds. But their dangerous labors, if suc- 
cessful, were rewarded with enough meat to 
feed many people. 

Where their distinctive spearpoints are 
found tells us not only what Paleolndians 
hunted, but also where they explored, a topic 
studied by archeologist David Anderson, who 
was closely involved with the Russell Reser- 
voir research. His theory is that migrating 
Paleolndians encountered four major river 
systems after they reached the northern bor- 
ders of the western United States. The riv- 
ers—the Missouri, Platte, Arkansas, and 
Red— all flow generally towards the east and 
south into the Mississippi River. 

People have always tended to follow rivers 
as a source of drinking water and for other 
logical reasons— animals searching for water 
beat down paths along the rivers, making 
human travel easier and providing potential 
game; and the rivers themselves wear away 
valleys through rugged terrain, further easing 
the way for people. Therefore, Anderson 
theorizes that Paleolndians probably followed 
the Missouri, Platte, Arkansas, or Red Rivers 
into the center of the country, and that eventu- 
ally some found their way across the Missis- 
sippi River into the eastern United States. 

After crossing the Mississippi, Paleolndians 
likely slowed their journey. Some may have 
stopped altogether, settling in Alabama, Ten- 
nessee, Kentucky, and Ohio, where the most 
Clovis points have been discovered in the 
eastern United States. The travelers found 

ample resources in those places, including the 
preferred rocks for their spearpoints. Many 
may have stayed in these staging areas for a 
number of years, allowing them to bear and 
raise children without the stress of constant 
travel, as well as to learn how to exploit the 
bounties of a new land. 

Observations of contemporary preliterate 
people suggest that Paleolndians probably 
clustered in small groups (called bands) of no 
more than 150 people in their beginning days 
in North America. These groups were proba- 
bly extended families. Most major decisions 
were likely made by the dominant males, 
usually the most skilled hunters, although all 
adults, males and females, probably had fairly 
equal say in matters. 

Gradually, between 11,200 and 11,000 
years ago, as the population grew in the Ohio 
River Valley and the mid-South, new groups 
split off and moved to other areas. There is 
also evidence suggesting that even before then, 
Paleolndians may have explored widely in 
eastern North America. Artifacts found at 
Little Salt Springs on the Gulf of Mexico coast 
of southern Florida, for example, date to 
12,000 years ago. 

Certainly by 11,000 years ago, Paleoln- 
dians had covered considerable ground and 
also had begun to settle in favored spots 
throughout much of what is now the eastern 
United States. We know this because of the 
spearpoints they left behind. 

The absence of spearpoints in some regions 
indicates areas Paleolndians avoided. They 
seemed generally wary of high, rugged moun- 
tains and places without the flint or chert they 
used for weapons. 

Whatever their exact route was, Paleoln- 
dians eventually made their way to the land 
along the Savannah River and left their stone 
calling cards behind. Altogether, some 50 
Clovis spearpoints have been found along the 
approximately 250 miles of the river's drain- 
age system in Georgia and South Carolina. 
Only three of the points were discovered 
during the Russell investigations, despite 


Making a Spearpoint 

Once he chose a rock to make into a spearpoint, 
the prehistoric hunter used another rock called a 
hammerstone to help in the initial shaping. Archeol- 
ogist Tom Gresham duplicates the steps in the 
photographs to the right. The hammerstone, a round 
piece of granite or other hard mineral that fit easily 
into the hand, served as his hammer, shown in 
Figure 8 (a). With pounding strokes, he reduced the 
spearpoint rock until the rough outer edges and 
impurities were detached. What was left, called the 
core, was a manageable chunk that could be carried 
back to camp for the next steps. 

There he used the hammerstone again or a 
wooden or bone baton to chip away more until the 
rock was roughly the size of a spearpoint (b). 
Called a preform, this piece now became the focus 
of an intricate, and to the unpracticed or careless, 
hazardous refinement. Using the sharp tip of a deer 
antler, he forced away many small, thin pieces 
called flakes, gradually sculpting the rock (c). 
Because the spearpoint was small, only a few inches 
at most, and sharp as glass, cut fingers could easily 
result during this flaking. 

Hunters sometimes used fire to temper chert and 
to help form it into spearpoints. Archeologists think 
the process involved burying the rock, then building 
afire on top, which often changed the chert's color. 
The heat also made the chert more pliable and 
susceptible to the final delicate flaking. Satisfied 
with a spearpoint 's shape and sharpness, the hunter 
added it to his arsenal. 


widespread archeological excavations. And 
none of the Clovis points were located near 
tools or soil stains associated with the Paleoln- 
dian period, suggesting the area was only 
minimally occupied. There were, however, 
major Paleolndian population concentrations in 
South Carolina, northern Florida, and the 
ridge and valley section of northwest Georgia 
and northern Alabama where many more 
points were found. 

The hunters who left the three points be- 
hind at different locations in the Russell area 
were probably searching for game or explor- 
ing. Perhaps they dropped the weapons as they 
moved quickly after animals or lost them when 
they stopped to rest. Nothing, however, re- 
mains to suggest that they lingered for long. 
Yet even these few remnants fill in more of 
the puzzle of their lives. 

Seeing the early Paleolndians' handiwork 
cannot help but stir the imagination about 
these ancient people. The Clovis point from 
Rucker's Bottom, which is displayed in the 
Russell Dam visitor's center in Elbert County, 
Georgia, is so delicately sculpted in glossy 
black chert that it suggests the skill of an 
accomplished artist concerned with aesthetics 
as much as function. Less than two inches 
long, the point has finely chipped grooves 
along its sides that are unquestionably the 
result of nimble fingers and a demanding eye. 

The three Clovis points found in the reser- 
voir area also provide other insights about 
their makers. The chert they used came from 
at least 100 miles away from where the points 
were discovered. One point was made from 
chalky-looking chert found in Allendale Coun- 
ty, South Carolina, midway between Augusta 
and Savannah, Georgia. The blackish-colored 
rock for the other two points came from near 
Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

Whether the Paleolndians traded with others 
for these spearpoints or simply covered all 
those miles on foot themselves is open to 
debate. However, in a study of artifacts dis- 
covered near the Savannah River, avocational 
archeologist Tommy Charles found that some 

of the earliest hunters did carry or exchange 
spearpoints up to 150 miles from a rock 

Possibly only one band of between 50 and 
150 early Paleolndians roamed the approxi- 
mately 250-mile-length of the Savannah River. 
They probably also hunted in territory that 
included several adjacent river systems. Ac- 
cording to David Anderson, a similar pattern 
possibly occurred throughout much of the 
East, with a small band at first using the land 
around several entire rivers to hunt. Then, as 
population grew and new bands formed and 
moved away, every group reduced its territory 
to only one major river system. 

Exactly which animals Paleolndians pursued 
along the Savannah River is uncertain because 
the elements destroyed Ice Age faunal re- 
mains. However, Clovis points are linked with 
the prehistoric bison antiquus and the giant 
land tortoise in Florida. And because the 
wooly mammoth, ground sloth, and other 
now-extinct creatures lived in the Southeast 
and Paleolndians hunted these animals in the 
West, most experts assume that they killed 
them in the South as well. 

There is, however, a growing number who 
think that southeastern Paleolndians were not 
overly dependent on large animals because of 
the many other foods available to them in the 
ecologically-rich area. They could have eaten 
smaller animals, as well as seeds, berries, 
nuts, and roots. Again, observing preliterate 
people today, authorities note that they neglect 
few edible resources. 

Like so many questions about these earliest 
prehistoric people, the answer to just how 
nomadic they were is elusive. They were 
constant wanderers, tracking game and other 
resources and rarely settling anywhere for 
more than a day or two, according to one 
theory. Another view sees Paleolndians as true 
nomads only during their earliest incursion 
into the eastern United States. Later, according 
to this theory, they became more settled. 

William Gardner favors this latter idea. His 
studies in Virginia show that Paleolndians 


ablished basecamps, where they lived at 
least part of the year, near sources of rock 
preferred for their weapons. Gardner thinks 
other bands along the Atlantic coast behaved 
similarly, revisiting year after year places near 
sources of chert, called outcrops. Outcrops are 
exposures of rock above ground where hunters 
obtained stone for tools. 

Paleolndians used a range of camps or sites, 
according to this theory. Typically, at the rock 
source, they quarried the chert, chipping out 
large chunks. Then they carried the chunks to 
another site where they worked away more of 
the rock, reducing it to pieces small enough to 
take to their basecamps. At the basecamp, they 
finished the task of forming spearpoints and 
other tools. They also used still more sites as 
brief camps on hunting trips. 

Research in Missouri and Arkansas by 
Phyllis Morse and Dan Morse supports the 
notion that Paleolndians there maintained year- 
round basecamps by around 10,500 to 10,000 
years ago. These camps tended to be estab- 
lished in the center of a band's territory and 
the Paleolndians also set aside special areas as 
cemeteries. Hunters, when away from the 
basecamp, probably set up short-term camps 
in outlying areas, and there were likely other 
sites where people collected and processed 
plant food. 

But another archeologist, Michael Schiffer, 
looking at some of the same data examined by 
the Morses, argues against year-round settle- 
ments. He thinks Paleolndians in Arkansas and 
Missouri were much more mobile and may 
have alternated between summer and winter 
basecamps. He also thinks they sometimes 
traveled to short-term camps for hunting and 
gathering plant food. 

Despite such differences of opinion, many 
archeologists agree that, at least by 10,500 
years ago, Paleolndians had chosen to live in 
basecamps for at least part of the year. They 
still may have moved about extensively search- 
ing for food, but they eventually returned to 
places that could be called home. 

We also know that their numbers steadily 

Figure 9: Dalton spearpoints, which came after the Clovis 
in the late Paleolndian years, typically have distinctly 
flared ear-shaped corners at the base. Many were resharp- 
ened and used as knives. 

grew, another fact gleaned from their stone 
weapons. While only three Clovis spearpoints 
from the Early Paleolndian period of 11,500 
to 10,500 years ago were found in the Russell 
studies, 14 spearpoints from the Late Paleoln- 
dian period of 10,500 to 10,000 years ago 
were found. These more recent artifacts, 
called Dalton spearpoints, tend to be smaller 
than Clovis points and are often distinguished 
by pronounced flared ears at the corners of 
their bases. 

The change in points was gradual. Clovis 
points by the end of the early period began to 
show slight variations from one region to 
another, indicating that different traditions 
were developing. There is a design similarity 
between Clovis and Dalton points. The Dal- 
tons show a thinning at the base, not unlike 
the beginnings of a flute, supporting the idea 


that descendants of the earliest arrivals made 
the later points, not some new group that 
migrated into North America. 

Why did Paleolndians alter a point style 
that had served their predecessors so well? 
Most likely because the world around them 
was changing. With the decline and ultimate 
disappearance of huge animals like the mam- 
moth, hunters began to pursue smaller game 
more often. Consequently, smaller spearpoints 

There were also other changes— the weather 
was warming, leading to different vegetation. 
Somehow, people adapted and continued to 
grow in population, their increasing numbers 
documented by the dramatic rise in the quanti- 
ty of their artifacts found at various locations. 

By the end of the Paleolndian era 10,000 
years ago, spearpoints were serrated with 
small, sharp teeth along the edges. These 
serrations are important because they show 
that hunters had learned how to cut more 
efficiently when they used the points as 
knives. Also, they had begun to resharpen and 
reuse their weapons. 

Archeologist Lisa O'Steen has documented 
other changes in her study of an area along the 
Oconee River in Georgia near the Russell 
Reservoir area. She found that by 10,500 
years ago, Paleolndians camped and hunted in 
the river floodplains as their ancestors did, but 
they also began to use the land in between 
rivers, called the uplands, more often. 

Paleolndians also eventually made their 
spearpoints from more readily available rocks, 
a finding substantiated by the Dalton points 
uncovered in the Russell studies. Of 14 Dalton 
points found during the studies, 12 were made 
from quartz that could be found nearby; the 
other two were made of chert from some 
distance away. The change is significant 
because making their weapons mostly from 
nearby materials suggests that late Paleolnd- 
ians probably lived at least part of the year in 
the Russell Reservoir area. They were not just 
passing quickly through as the earliest visitors 
are thought to have done. In other words, the 
people who made Dalton spearpoints were the 
first to make the upper Savannah River area 
their home. 


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km 100 


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Clyde Go41ey*V 

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Map 2: Important Early Archaic sites in the Southeast include Gregg Shoals and Rucker's Bottom in Georgia 
(insert), which were excavated in the Russell Project Area. 


Chapter 3 : A Break with the Past 

8000 to 6000 b.c. 
The Early Archaic Era 

Changes in prehistoric human lifeways oc- 
curred slowly, over hundreds and even thou- 
sands of years, as early people followed close- 
ly in their ancestors' footsteps with only slight 
variations. Even when they chose different 
paths, the departures were often so gradual 
that they would be imperceptible to most 
observers. Only the skilled eye of a scientist 
could detect many of the subtle early signs of 
altered habits. Contrasted with the lightning- 
quick progress of the space age, this ancient 
pace of change seems excruciatingly slow. 

But consider how few early peoples' needs 
were and how adequately their world satisfied 
those needs and the continuation of time-hon- 
ored practices becomes easier to understand. 
There was little impetus to change a way of 
life that worked successfully for generations. 
When prehistoric residents did shift behavior, 

often they were responding to changes in their 

The world the residents of the Savannah 
River valley knew in the next cultural tradi- 
tion, the Early Archaic period of 8000 to 6000 
B.C. , was both different and similar to the one 
found by Paleolndians. Their lives were also 
both changed and alike. 

The river valley these people knew had 
formed slowly over tens of thousands of years 
as the earth's crust shifted and the river steadi- 
ly carved a deep path by wearing away meta- 
morphic and igneous rocks. Igneous rocks 
formed from cooling lava from the earth's hot 
core, while metamorphic rocks developed 
from igneous or sedimentary rocks trans- 
formed under the tremendous pressures and 
heat of the dynamic earth. Sedimentary rocks 
resulted from the sediments deposited slowly 

Figure 10: The Savannah River and its tributaries follow similar paths to those 10,000 
years ago. Scientists studied the environment of the past to understand its human impact. 


Figure 11: A field worker collects artifacts from the 
surface before digging begins. She uses a meter frame in 
this instance to organize the search. 

by ancient seas or rivers. 

As it forced a course with unrelenting 
assault on the rocks, the Savannah River 
wound steadily through the bottom of a bowl- 
shaped valley. The floodplain— the relatively 
flat area at the bottom of the bowl where the 
river dropped sediments at flood stage— was 
not especially wide compared to neighboring 
rivers' floodplains, but did extend as much as 
a half mile from one side to the other. 

The river at normal flow was also fairly 
broad, ranging up to 400 feet across. Valley 
walls cradling the river were steep, up to 400 
feet above the water in spots, but mostly less 
than 200 feet high, which was still a formida- 
ble descent to the river. 

A rolling landscape of brownish red soils, 
called the uplands, stretched above the river 
valley and the valleys of the larger tributaries. 
These undulating expanses of land, dotted with 

areas of level ground, appear today much the 
same as when the early residents saw them. 
Ridges, consisting of long, fairly flat summits 
atop the many upland hills, were favored camp 
sites during the Early Archaic period, along 
with high ground adjacent to rivers. 

Noticeably different in Early Archaic times 
was the climate, grown warmer and wetter 
than in early Paleolndian days. Changing 
vegetation resulted, with a thick forest sprout- 
ing in the uplands where before patches of 
woods were separated by broad, open fields of 
herbs and shrubs. Herbs had thrived before 
because of the cooler, drier conditions, but as 
the air warmed and the rains increased, first 
pine colonized the formerly open areas, and 
then oaks supplanted the pines. Herbs and 
shrubs became only minor components in the 
landscape. Oaks now dominated, but gum, 
chestnut, beech, and pine trees also grew. 

In the river valley, the forest was also in 
flux. Spruce, fir, hemlock, and pine trees 
disappeared, replaced by oak, gum, hickory, 
and other deciduous trees that seasonally lose 
their leaves. The spruce and fir were among 
the last lingering reminders of the cold days of 
the Ice Age when northern evergreens flour- 
ished in the southern Piedmont. We know of 
their former existence from tiny, fossilized 
grains of pollen discovered in the soils of the 
Russell Reservoir area by Mark Sheehan and 
other scientists. 

During the Early Archaic era, the Savannah 
River was swifter and prone to more snaking 
bends than in modern times. The waterway 
maintained the same general direction as 
today, but sometimes migrated into adjacent 
channels, producing changes in the landscape. 
As the Savannah flowed, it eroded soft earth 
in its path and added platforms of land called 
levees along its banks. After floods when the 
water retreated, the river dropped sediments of 
sand and silt on these levees, so that eventual- 
ly some stood ten to 1 3 feet above the river at 
low water. When the river's course shifted, 
new levees formed. The older levees, some- 
times also called terraces, continued to stand 


Secrets of the Soil 

Understanding what an environment was once like is important because of its role in shaping human 
activities. To learn about the world near the Savannah River years ago, geologists and pedologists examined 
soils— charting color, texture, depth and composition, which reflect how soils were deposited, the vegetation 
that once grew in them, and previous climates. 

Soils develop from a combination of minerals and organic material called humus, derived from decayed 
plants and animals. A scientist finds clues in the humus to the plants that once grew there. Rocks also 
contribute to soil type, as do temperature and the amount of rain. Analyzing soils can reveal how they were 
deposited, whether they were whipped by wind, swept into place by a flood, or eroded from the top of a hill. 
Rocks and soils can also divulge where ancient rivers ran, the breadth of flood plains, and the height of valley 
walls. For example, very coarse sediments high above an old river bed suggest strong floods. 

A soil's chemical makeup is also important. Acidic dirt may result from high humidity, although other 
causes must be considered, such as chemicals in nearby bedrock. Color is another factor. A pale-green or 
dark-gray soil could suggest that the iron content was reduced by plant residues. 

Paleobotanists learn about past environments by examining ancient seeds and microscopic grains of pollen, 
comparing them with contemporary examples for identifications. Spores from nonflowering plants are similarly 
identified. By learning the amount of a particular plant's remains compared to those from all plants, scientists 
can determine how the area once looked— whether there was a lake, fields, or mountains. And by knowing 
what grew, they deduce what the climate was like. They also compare wild plant remains to those of cultivated 
plants, gaining insight about the human diet. 

Seeds and pollen are collected from peat bogs and ancient lakes, or extracted from dirt during archeological 
excavations. The dirt is sifted through a fine screen into a water tank in a process called flotation. Dirt sinks 
to the bottom, while seeds and other particles float. The seeds are skimmed away for study. A more 
sophisticated froth flotation uses a motor on the tank bottom to blow air into the water, similar to a fish tank. 
A collector agent, like kerosene, is added to the water. When the sifted dirt drops into the water and sinks, 
seeds, pollen, and other tiny organic particles attach to the rising air bubbles, aided by the kerosene. When 
the organic materials reach the water's surface, they float through a spout into a sieve. The particles are dried, 
then analyzed in a laboratory. 

above the surrounding floodplain. The terraces 
and levees, along with islands in the river, 
provided people with favored locations for 
camps and villages throughout prehistory. 

There was no regularity to this process of 
levee building. Sometimes the rain-swollen 
river swept tons of sediments along, resulting 
in heavy deposits. Other times, only a fraction 
of an inch of sediment was left. But it was 
during these low-deposition periods that soils 
began to form from old sediments left exposed 
to the coalescing powers of sun, wind, and 

Ironically, the river deposited the most 
materials after droughts. Dying vegetation in 

parched uplands could no longer hold the soil, 
so that erosion occurred when heavy rains 
finally fell. The sudden rush of water skimmed 
off dirt and carried it hurtling towards the 
river, increasing flooding and sedimentation. 
Conversely, during wet periods, upland vege- 
tation flourished, knitting the soil together, 
preventing heavy erosion, and leaving the 
river with little to deposit. 

Geologist Antonio Segovia learned from his 
study of the area that droughts occurred as 
often as a thousand years or more apart and 
lasted as long as 200 to 500 years. Droughts 
then, as now, says the geologist, were harsh 
for all living things. River tributaries and 


^j£* *•' 

^^fel^s i*' 

Figure 12: Soil samples are taken from different layers of an excavation for laboratory analysis to learn about earlier 
environments. Samples are placed in labeled containers for identification. 

nearby springs evaporated, killing plant life 
and smoothing the way for lightning-induced 
forest fires, which further denuded the land- 
scape. Wildlife suffered, and at times perished 
in the hostile conditions. When rainfall re- 
turned to normal levels, nature's recovery was 
slow. The hardy pine, with its fire-resistant 
seeds and ability to grow even where top soil 
rich in minerals was scoured away, was the 
first tree to reappear in open areas. Oaks and 
other hardwoods slowly followed and resumed 
the task of holding soils in place so that fertili- 
ty could revive. 

While some archeologists don't think pre- 
historic droughts in the Southeast were nearly 
as fierce as those described by Segovia, most 
assume that environmental change often kin- 
dled resourcefulness among prehistoric people 
who learned new ways to cope. There is no 
sign of significant drought at the start of the 
Early Archaic period, but there were major 
differences for these descendants of Paleoln- 
dians. Gone forever were the wooly mammoth 

and giant ground sloth that had provided food 
and clothing for the hunters and their families. 
By 10,000 years ago, many species of large 
mammals that had once lived on the continent 
were extinct. Consequently, hunters were 
forced to pursue smaller animals more often 
and a greater variety of them to satisfy their 

People scattered across the land adapted in 
various ways to the changing world. There 
were enough similarities in their responses, 
however, to mark the beginning of the Archaic 
cultural tradition, which spread widely from 
the East Coast to the Great Plains by 8000 
B.C. Where the tradition began is uncertain, 
and it was not embraced everywhere, with a 
Paleolndian lifestyle continuing for some time 
in parts of the West. Archeologists, for exam- 
ple, uncovered a Paleolndian site in Colorado 
dated to 6500 B.C., where hunters had forced 
a stampede of bison over a cliff and into a 
seven-foot gully. Hundreds of animals were 
crushed to death in the thunderous upheaval as 


they fell on top of each other, providing the 
people with enough food for a month or more. 

Early Archaic people along the Savannah 
River did not likely experience anything quite 
so terrify ingly dramatic in their hunting. At 
the start of the era, there were probably no 
more than 150 inhabitants in all, and they had 
the entire river valley, more than 250 miles 
long, and the surrounding uplands mostly to 

They were nomads, moving throughout 
much of the year, but not wandering aimless- 
ly. Their traveling had purpose and pattern. 
They preferred the Russell Reservoir area in 
summer and fall, year after year, sometimes 
using the same campsites repeatedly. 

Contrasted to Paleolndians, there were now 
two distinct patterns to these later peoples' 
settling, not just one. The first, considered by 
many to be a year-round custom for people in 
Late Paleolndian times, occurred in the win- 
ter. That's when Early Archaic people set up 
basecamps about 50 miles south of the reser- 
voir in the inner coastal plain. One such site, 

called G. S. Lewis, in honor of an avocational 
archeologist, was located on what is now the 
grounds of the Savannah River Site in western 
South Carolina. From there, Early Archaic 
hunters might venture out, perhaps for several 
days at a time, to look for game, while women 
and children remained at the basecamp all 

The second pattern began when warm 
weather arrived, signalling greater mobility for 
everyone. Men, women, and children moved 
up and down the river, towards the coast in 
early spring, then into the rolling hills of the 
Piedmont in late spring. Sometimes they 
camped in the uplands, other times on the 
terraces and levees of the Savannah River 
valley. They particularly favored raised land 
sandwiched between junctures of tributary 
streams and the river. 

The length of time these groups spent 
camped at a particular spot varied and could 
last up to several weeks. Hunters might leave 
their campsite briefly, and women might hike 
short distances away to collect hickory nuts 

Figure 13: A rock cluster from the Gregg Shoals site is possibly the remnant of an Early Archaic era hearth. 


and other plant foods, but everyone returned 
at night. During the day, people who left to 
seek food rarely traveled more than eight 
miles away from where the band was gath- 
ered. Whenever game became scarce, they all 
moved on to find another spot for setting up 

This view of Early Archaic life, developed 
by David Anderson and Glen Hanson, was 
based directly on information gathered in the 
Russell Reservoir studies, as well as other 
research. It counters earlier ideas that people 
of this era were relatively sedentary. 

participated in a number of activities. But 
evidence left over from these activities and 
traces of their shelters are rare in the eastern 
United States because of the thousands of 
years gone by since then and because of an 
environment hostile to preservation. We know 
that the focal point of their camps was the 
fire, encircled by stacked granite or quartz 
rocks. Heat from the fire, used for cooking 
and warmth, sometimes cracked the stones. 
Impervious to time, however, the hearths 
remained undisturbed for 10,000 years just as 
they were built. Nature played a role in sus- 

Figure 14: Hunters tied the Palmer points to spear foreshafts by looping binding around the two bottom notches. 

Other researchers' findings elsewhere 
helped inspire this theory. Working along the 
Haw River in middle North Carolina, for 
example, Stephen Claggett and John Cable 
found that Early Archaic people there also 
changed camps frequently. The two archeolo- 
gists also discovered that the tendency to move 
the entire family became more prevalent over 
time as the centuries passed and the Early 
Archaic period drew to a close. 

Early Archaic people undoubtedly built 
sturdy shelters at their winter base camps, and 
at both their winter and summer camps, they 

pending them in time by gradually burying the 
stones with dirt, which researchers carefully 
removed centuries later in their probe for just 
such remnants of prehistoric life. 

Hunting and gathering food continued to 
preoccupy human energies in the Early Archa- 
ic years, as well as preparing tools for tasks 
associated with subsistence. People could rely 
only on themselves and their own resourceful- 
ness to make weapons and implements that 
would ensure their survival. Like the hearths 
they left behind, their tools, uncovered in the 
soil, add more details to what we know of 


Figure 15: Archeologists rigged a boom with tubs at Gregg Shoals to lift dirt from the deep excavation. 

their lives. Choosing the best raw materials for 
tools was the crucial first step. 

Early Archaic people most preferred quartz, 
especially vein quartz. More than half the 
artifacts discovered at the largest Early Archa- 
ic site found in the reservoir, Rucker's Bot- 
tom, were made from this hard rock. Vein 
quartz is abundant in the Piedmont in soft 
shades of rose, grey, and yellowish brown, 
but the toolmakers liked best the white, trans- 
lucent variety known as cold cream jar or milk 
glass quartz. Perhaps they preferred the milky 
quartz because of its pleasing appearance. Also 
favored, but much rarer was crystal quartz. 
Resembling glass, and at times almost trans- 
parent, tools of crystal quartz sparkle in sun- 
light like jewelry. 

But beauty alone could not have determined 
their choices. Hunters learned that the quality 
of quartz varieties differed substantially, and 
they were able to recognize which ones con- 
tained the smaller crystals that made the rock 
easier to chip into pieces. They found quartz 
mostly in rocks along the ground, in cobbles 
smoothed by pounding by rivers and streams, 

and in veins a few inches thick to several feet 
wide that appeared as outcrops. Superior resis- 
tance to weathering compared to other miner- 
als results in quartz appearing as an outcrop. 
For about a century at the beginning of the 
era, people continued to make the Dalton 
spearpoints which first appeared in the Late 
Paleolndian period. But for most of the 2,000 
years of their era, Early Archaic people made 
new types of spearpoints with corner or side 
notches. Called Kirk and Palmer points, these 
projectiles have two indentions near the bases, 
one on each side. These small grooves held 
the binding in place that attached the points to 
the spear shafts. Sometimes the base below the 
notches formed a square stem, but not usually. 
Many of these points were shaped like minia- 
ture Christmas trees. 

Frequent targets for these spearpoints were 
white-tailed deer, valued not only for their 
flesh, but also for their hides and antlers. 
Hunters also pursued raccoons, rabbits, opos- 
sums, squirrels, beavers, muskrats, and tur- 
keys. Sometimes shorter handles were attached 
to the spearpoints so they could be used as 


Figure 16: A graver. 

knives or saws, and small serrations were 
chipped into the edges of the points to ease 

While shapes varied somewhat, similar 
points to the Kirk and Palmer were used 
throughout the eastern United States, as far 
north as New England, indicating there was 
interaction among people from different re- 

Insight into ancient manufacturing is also 
gained from the refuse left where the spear- 
points were made. For example, when a 
hunter reduced a stone with blows, he knocked 
off progressively smaller flakes. Larger, 
broader flakes suggest the early stages of 
spearpoint making, while small, thin, and flat 
flakes came from the final steps, or from later 

Assuming no trade occurred with others, 
the people living part of the year along the 
upper Savannah River traveled as much as 1 80 
miles to get the rock for some of their spear- 
points, making the weapons worth saving and 
resharpening. Nearly 20 percent of the Early 
Archaic chipped stone tools at the Rucker's 
Bottom site were made from rocks mined 
some distance away. Easily-worked chert from 
the Coastal Plain was the most popular of 
these rocks. Quartz, on the other hand, was so 
plentiful that hunters did not resharpen quartz 
spearpoints as often as those made from chert. 
Often they just discarded quartz spearpoints 
and made new ones. 

If they were not especially prone to recycle 

their quartz weapons, toolmakers were con- 
scious of using by-products of spearpoint 
production. They recovered some flakes fallen 
to the ground, sharpened them, and used them 
as other tools. The most important of this 
category was the scraper, which they used to 
peel away meat and hair from animal hides. 
They wore the hides as garments or stretched 
them over bent saplings to create shelter. 

A few scrapers were meticulously honed to 
a razor edge and attached to handles. But not 
many of these more formal versions were 
found, another sign that Early Archaic people 
rarely stayed in one place in the reservoir area 
for long. Rather, they made many scrapers 
quickly, off-handedly, used them, and then 
tossed them away. 

A circular flake called a graver, with a 
small sharp projection, was probably used to 
punch holes in hides so they could be tied 
together. Another common tool was the pieces 
esquilles—a. square or rectangular flake used 
as a wedge. 

These stone implements were only part of 
a hunter's tool kit. There were also many 
other objects made of bone, wood, and fiber, 
which deteriorated over time, and so were not 
uncovered in excavations. Some of the stone 

Figure 17: Hunters likely used scrapers to remove flesh 
and hair from animal hides. 


Peeling Back the Layers 

Over time, soils and the residues of human existence are buried, leaving a map, of sorts, for archeologists 
to follow. A man builds a house, for example, that one day burns, then collapses. Water from rain or flooding 
rivers washes dirt over the debris, gradually burying all evidence of the house. Wind pushes more dirt on top, 
and, as centuries pass, a layer cake of different dirts develops on the spot. The deeper one digs, theoretically, 
the older the layers are. 

Archeologists call such layers strata, and identify them by color, thickness, composition, texture, and by 
stains and artifacts from human activity. Ideally, the layers are easily distinguished from one another, and 
appear in sequence from the most recent on top to the oldest at the bottom. In reality, however, the sequence 
is often disturbed by erosion, earthquakes, frigid temperatures, root growth, toppled trees, and burrowing 
animals. People, by digging graves, pits, and trenches, and through plowing, also churn and shift the layers. 
Artifacts, like layers, can also become dislodged from their original placement because of burrowing animals, 
decaying plant roots, or human digging. 

These disturbances complicate the science of stratigraphy, charting soil layers and interpreting what those 
layers mean. Stratigraphy is a relative dating technique, allowing archeologists to compare time periods. 
Relative dating methods supplement absolute dating methods such as carbon 14 testing. Unfortunately, 
however, understanding soil layers is rarely easy because layers are not only often jumbled, they are also often 
so similar that they are nearly indistinguishable, requiring careful observation and judgment. Occasionally, 
archeologists do find in the Southeast an undisturbed, stratified site with many artifacts. Gregg Shoals, 
uncovered during the Russell studies, was such a place. The excavation at the north Georgia site was excep- 
tionally deep, eventually reaching 14 feet below ground, an unexpected challenge. Special equipment was 
called for and designed by archeologist James Michie. He devised a boom equipped with a hand-turned winch 
to help speed the digging. Platforms and ladders gave the crew safe access down below. 

tools, like the pieces esquilles and gravers, 
were used to make wooden implements such 
as digging sticks and spear shafts. 

Perhaps the most likely tool to be over- 
looked today is the pitted rock because it so 
resembles an ordinary stone. But close exami- 
nation reveals the small pits— usually found in 
the center of quartz cobbles or granite 
chunks— which were formed when prehistoric 
people pounded the rocks with a hammerstone 
(a hard rock used as a hammer). Stoneworkers 
may have used the pitted rocks as platforms or 
anvils upon which they made other tools. The 
pits were also ideal for holding acorns or 
hickory nuts so that they could be cracked 
with a hammerstone. Abrasions are visible on 
both pitted rocks and hammerstones, attesting 
to their uses. 

Wielding implements as rudimentary as the 
hammerstone did not preclude prehistoric 
people from developing intricate, high quality 
tools. Ann Tippitt and William Marquardt 
discovered that Early Archaic tool makers at 

the Gregg Shoals site used an advanced tech- 
nique that did not show up again along the 
same section of the river until several thousand 
years later. The method involved shattering 
crystal quartz rock on an anvil stone, then 
shaping the fragments to produce extremely 
sharp blades which were quite small. These 
tiny blades were probably lodged between split 
sticks, then used in delicate cutting tasks. 

There were also other signs that Early 
Archaic people were fairly sophisticated. Life 
spans were short— a man and woman were 
elderly if they lived to be 40. The reproduc- 
tive period was therefore comparatively brief 
and left little time for the prolonged adoles- 
cences and drawn-out courtships of today. The 
drive to find partners, however, was somewhat 
hindered by the lack of choices in a relatively 
sparse population. Too, many hard miles of 
walking, shadowed by all the dangers of the 
wilderness, separated prospective young mates 
from different bands. The solution may have 
been pre-arranged gatherings, festive occasions 


where many people 
from great distances 
congregated to cele- 
brate new unions and 
to exchange informa- 

Similar occasions 
took place throughout 
the eastern United 
States, documented 
by the large accumu- 
lations of stone tools 
and spearpoints found 
at select locations. 

Often, the meetings took place on high ground 
that loomed above everything else nearby. 
Eagle Hill at Fort Polk in west-central Louisi- 
ana was one such site. Easily visible for miles, 
Eagle Hill stands between three major riv- 
ers—the Sabine, Calcasieu, and Red— all likely 
homes to various bands. 

For people living along the Savannah 
River, a preferred spot for the congregations 

Figure 18: The bifurcate 
spearpoint base is divided in 
two parts. The point ap- 
peared at the close of the 
Early Archaic years. 

was along the fall line, the geologic boundary 
between the rolling Piedmont and the Coastal 
Plain. The fall line almost slices the two states 
in half. 

Archeologists have identified one potential 
reason why this boundary of demarcation was 
favored. People traveling from the coast inland 
to the Piedmont saw rocks and shallows in the 
major rivers for the first time at the fall line. 
Here was the first place where they could ford 
wide rivers like the Savannah on foot fairly 
easily and without great risk. 

Those living part of the year in the reser- 
voir area probably made the journey to the fall 
line in late autumn to meet with others who 
spent most of the year along other major 
rivers in Georgia and South Carolina. Arch- 
eologists David Anderson and Glen Hanson 
think that bands from as far away as the 
Ocmulgee River in central Georgia and the 
Neuse River in eastern North Carolina may 
have participated in this particular mating 

Figure 19: Rucker's Bottom was one of the largest Early Archaic excavations ever in the Southeast. Prehistoric people 
favored the spot and surrounding land during many eras. 


Map 3: The fall line, marked by dashes between the Piedmont and Coastal Plain, divides Georgia and South 
Carolina. Early Archaic people are thought to have met there for periodic gatherings. 

What ceremonies, if any, they held to mark 
a couple's union, or any other activities the 
bands may have engaged in, are lost. Nor do 
we know how people, spread out across so 
many miles, communicated about when to 
meet. We can also only guess how individuals 
felt about the gatherings. Surely for most, 
after the nearly constant moving from one 
place to another only in the company of their 
own extended families, there must have been 
eagerness to talk with people from far away, 
to renew friendships, and to share news. 

The mating network probably included 500 
to 1,500 people, the number experts think was 
necessary to maintain birth rates equal to or 
slightly greater than the number of deaths, and 
to guarantee human survival. But Early Archa- 
ic people did better than just survive. Their 

numbers swelled to the point that small groups 
split off from bands and formed new bands, a 
splintering that happened again and again, 
ultimately leading to dwindling territories for 
every group. 

A new variety of spearpoint in the reservoir 
area called the bifurcate, with a base divided 
into two parts, was left behind towards the end 
of the Early Archaic era. Perhaps the handi- 
work of hunters from outside the region, these 
spearpoints apparently represent people who 
didn't stay long and had little impact on land 
near the Savannah River. 

But other changes culminated in a new era, 
the Middle Archaic, a time when local resi- 
dents abandoned long journeys outside the 
region in favor of nomadic existence within 
the Piedmont. 


Map 4: Important Middle and Late Archaic sites in the Southeast are shown, including those excavated in the 
Russell Reservoir Project Area (insert) in Georgia and South Carolina. 


Chapter 4: More Wandering, Less Room 

6000 to 3000 B.C. 

The Middle Archaic Era 

Living outdoors much of their lives, prehis- 
toric people experienced the power of a thun- 
derstorm as acutely as any of the animals 
sharing the woods around them. When black- 
ening skies flashed with terrifying lightning 
and creeks and rivers swelled and overflowed 
their banks, human beings found their own 
meanings for the turmoil. For them, the wa- 
ters, skies, and even the rocks beneath their 
feet were alive with invisible spirits susceptible 
to the same unpredictable mood swings as 
human beings. The fiercer the storm, the an- 

grier these spirits were perceived to be. This 
animism rigidly guided human behavior for a 
time, fostering intricate rituals and taboos 
based on a deep reverence for the world. 

Religion is only one of many aspects of 
prehistoric life to come into clearer focus in 
recent years. A much vaguer sketch existed of 
North American inhabitants before European 
occupation until the federal government's push 
for cultural resources investigations intensified 
in the 1970's. Particularly uncharted was the 
story of those who occupied parts of the 

Figure 20: Plastic sheets protect earthen walls of the Gregg Shoals dig to keep rain from weakening them, which could 
cause a collapse and loss of archeological information. 


Southeast in the Middle Archaic period 8000 
to 5000 years ago. 

The late Joseph Caldwell, noted University 
of Georgia archeology professor, was among 
the early few who contributed to knowledge 
about Middle Archaic people in Georgia and 
South Carolina. He identified the residents of 
that time as belonging to the "Old Quartz 
Culture," because their quartz spearpoints 
were found on ridge tops throughout the 
Piedmont. The Piedmont is the land between 
the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Coastal 
Plain, an area about 80 miles wide. 

But before quartz became hunters' frequent 
choice for their spear- 
points, there were new 
visitors, perhaps from 
many miles away, to 
the upper Savannah 
River valley, who chose 
other stones for their 
tools and weapons. The 
Russell studies revealed 
that small groups, even 
lone travelers from 
perhaps eastern Tennes- 
see or the North Caroli- 
na Piedmont, ventured 
into the area about 
8,000 years ago. They 
used metamorphic rocks 
and poor-quality chert 
found near the river to 
fashion a spearpoint with a notched stem at the 
base. Called a Stanly Stemmed, the projectile 
often appears to have two awkward elbows 
jutting out from each side. 

Maybe the explorers met others already 
long established along the river and were 
welcomed and treated as honored guests. But 
they could just as easily have been viewed 
hostilely as interlopers and attacked. Or maybe 
they passed through unnoticed altogether. Only 
nine Stanly Stemmed points were found in the 
reservoir area. Their owners left few other 
hints about themselves, suggesting they did not 
linger and may simply have chanced into the 

Figure 21: A Stanly Stemmed point often has jutting sides. 

territory on one or more extended hunting 

Their counterparts who were already living 
near the river likely continued to make spear- 
points similar to those of their ancestors in the 
Early Archaic period. But by 7,500 years ago, 
a new stemmed projectile emerged called the 
Morrow Mountain, which was made through- 
out the Russell area. 

Inhabitants of this period still lived along 
the river, but in contrast to their forebears, 
they stayed longer in the uplands, up to 
months at a stretch. They avoided low ground 
prone to flooding for their camps, preferring 

the high, dry land that 
drained well in the 
heavy rains characteris- 
tic of the region. Other- 
wise, their homesite 
requirements were few 
because they rarely 
stayed anywhere long. 
They did not use the 
winter basecamps initi- 
ated by Early Archaic 
people, but roamed 
almost continually, 
searching for food. 
When resources were 
spent in one spot, they 
packed their few be- 
longings and looked for 
another site. They 
stopped at a new camp only until they exhaust- 
ed all the location offered before setting out 
once again. 

Successive camping was an efficient way to 
exploit a landscape similar to what exists 
today. There were some differences between 
the game and other food sources available near 
major rivers compared to that found in the 
uplands, but basically the preferred resources 
existed everywhere in about the same abun- 
dance. People in the Russell area apparently 
did not depend heavily on fish, if at all, and 
did not gather freshwater shellfish as some of 
their contemporaries did in other regions. 


Since they did not stay long at any one 
camp and because they hunted and gathered 
the same kinds of foods at every site, the 
remains they left were similar at all locations, 
according to Kenneth Sassaman, who used 
detailed statistical analysis to document the 
wandering lifestyle in the reservoir and sur- 
rounding Piedmont. 

Sassaman concluded, however, that minor 
differences did show up from campsite to 
campsite, in part because human behavior 
changed somewhat in different seasons. For 
example, archeologists know that deer hunting 
was especially important in late fall when 
berries and other vegetation that supplemented 
the human diet become scarce. The months 
when trees lose their leaves and forest under- 
growth withers are 
also the most vulner- 
able for deer, who 
are left without the 
camouflage the fo- 
liage provides. Au- 
tumn is also deer 
mating season, fur- 
ther weakening the 
animals' defenses 
because their usual 
caution diminishes 
while bucks spar for 

does. Consequently, fall camps were probably 
different from those of other seasons because 
there were more tools for stripping animal 
hides and cracking hickory nuts than in sum- 
mer camps where berries and other plant foods 
were eaten. 

People in the Piedmont foraged so widely 
that they rarely stayed in the same spot more 
than once. They did, however, occasionally 
find a site that they returned to year after 
year. These repeated visits resulted in more 
artifacts left at some locations. 

The wandering of Middle Archaic people, 
although more frequent, was conversely more 
restricted in territory than the earlier inhabi- 
tants', another conclusion drawn from the 
stone clues to their lives. No longer did these 

Figure 22: Morrow Mountain spearpoints are squat and rough. 

people travel beyond the Piedmont to find the 
chert selected by earlier generations for spear- 
points and other tools. Nor did they trade for 
any objects outside the region. Instead, their 
entire lives were spent in the vicinity where 
they relied heavily on quartz, abundant as 
outcrops in the uplands and along the river 
beds as cobbles. More than 85 percent of their 
tools found in the reservoir studies were made 
of quartz, confirming the accuracy of Joseph 
Caldwell's earlier label for the people of this 

The change in rock preference is attributed 
to population growth, which led to shrinking 
territories, and a curtailment of the old habit 
of roving freely up and down the banks of the 
entire river. Population was still quite small, 

however, compared 
to modern standards. 
There were also 
other differences for 
the people of the 
Middle Archaic era. 
They abandoned the 
practice of resharpen- 
ing spearpoints for 
repeated use. While a 
sound habit for their 
predecessors who 
walked many miles to 
find chert, it was an unnecessary economy for 
people who found quartz within such easy 
reach. Abundant raw material may have also 
contributed to a decline in the aesthetics of 
their weapons. Morrow Mountain projectiles 
appear haphazardly made, with ovate, almond 
shapes. Contrasted with the precise beauty of 
Paleolndian points and the less appealing, but 
still superior Early Archaic weapons, these 
later efforts look crude. 

Despite their lack of visual grace, however, 
Morrow Mountain points may have signaled a 
utilitarian advance. These points, which have 
shown up as far north as Virginia and as far 
west as Texas, have a tanged base that can fit 
into a socket, attaching it to the rest of the 
spear. Before the development of this tech- 


Figure 23: The deepest excavation at Gregg Shoals was dug in precise squares descending to almost 14 feet below the 
surface. This is the main block, with ladders in place for climbing to the bottom. 

nique, the point and spear shaft could be 
bound together only with strips of animal 
tendons or similar materials. 

Dennis Blanton, who studied Morrow 
Mountain points using specimens collected in 
the reservoir area and from nearby sites, 
determined that convenience was not the only 
reason for choosing quartz. Hunters had no 
need to seek better-quality rock because they 
did not use many of the specialized tools 
associated with their forerunners. Formal, 
handled scrapers became extremely rare, and 
there was also a marked decline in the variet- 
ies of blades and stone knives used compared 
to earlier times. 

Archeologists are unsure why stone work- 
ers used quartz almost exclusively when there 
were other similarly workable rocks also 
readily available. Quartz was possibly chosen 
for its durability, or its unusual cloud-in-glass 
look, or perhaps for both reasons. 

Just as dwindling territories in Georgia and 
South Carolina led to heavier use of rocks 
close at hand, people living in other regions of 
the East also depended more on stones they 
found close by. There were clear departures, 
however, from this penchant for convenience. 
Along the Duck River in west Tennessee, for 
example, hunters sometimes passed over good 
chert nearby to retrieve quartz from more 
distant locations, signalling a developing 
regional culture. By this time, differences 
between regions in the East were growing. 

Many Middle Archaic sites were uncovered 
in the Russell area, but only two, Rucker's 
Bottom and McCalla Bottoms, had significant 
artifact deposits, indicating repeated and 
potentially longer stays than was usual. Ruck- 
er's Bottom in Elbert County, Georgia yielded 
the heaviest concentration, with stone tools 
uncovered over a wide area. Small groups 
possibly camped there annually, accounting for 


the density and spread of artifacts. But there 
could be another explanation: Many different 
bands (extended family groups) may have 
rendezvoused there. Analyzing the data at 
Rucker's Bottom proved difficult because the 
Middle Archaic tools, pressed in a thin layer 
of dirt, were sometimes interspersed with 
others from a later era, clouding any conclu- 

Some archeologists think there were no 
formal get-togethers of different bands in this 
era like those held in the Early Archaic peri- 
od. Kenneth Sassaman, for instance, theorizes 
that Middle Archaic people no longer needed 
such gatherings for mating because the popula- 
tion was now sufficiently large to ensure 
informal contact among people from different 
bands. Most research so far in the Georgia 
and South Carolina Piedmont supports this 
view. Extended-family bands continued as 
society's organizational units, with adults 
retaining fairly equal control, as they had in 
earlier generations. 

McCalla Bottoms, across the Savannah 
River in Abbeville County, South Carolina, 
triggered more speculation about prehistoric 
residents. Archeologists there detected earth 
stains, called features, which were possible 
residues of small pits. The residents could 
have used the pits for storing hickory nuts. 
Nearby, at Gregg Shoals, Ann Tippitt and 
William Marquardt discovered some charred 
nuts near signs of a campfire dated to the 
Middle Archaic era. Also, many pitted and 
battered stones, ideal for cracking nuts, were 
found at Rucker's Bottom. The battered ham- 
merstones there may have also been used to 
make spearpoints and other tools, but the large 
quantity found suggests people were eating 
more plant foods than before. 

Along the river beach just south of Gregg 
Shoals, archeologists also discovered pieces of 
stone axes, probably crafted in the closing 
years of the period. Mostly, however, what 
remained of Middle Archaic culture were 
spearpoints and various stone tools called 
crude bifaces and expedient unifaces. A spear- 

point is called a biface because it has sharp 
edges chipped on both sides or faces. A crude 
biface is similar, but made much faster, with- 
out the attention to detail given a spearpoint. 
Nor was a crude biface attached to a handle or 
spear, but instead was used as a disposable 
knife. An expedient uniface is a rock sharp- 
ened on only one side, used maybe once or 
twice for scraping hides or other cutting tasks, 
then discarded. 

Nothing was found to show that residents 
along the Savannah River were experiencing 
the dramatic cultural changes taking place in 
Tennessee and elsewhere. Possibly the proof 
that they did undergo some similar transforma- 
tions was destroyed in the corrosive Piedmont 

Artifacts from the era discovered in Ten- 
nessee, for example, include delicate bird 
bones, which artists at Eva, near the Tennes- 
see River, fashioned into decorative beads. 
They also drilled holes in the teeth from dogs, 
bobcats, and bears then strung them into 
necklaces and even turned the skeleton of the 
rattlesnake into a wearable decoration. Not all 
the jewelry was organic, however. The Eva 

Figure 24: Called "uniface" tools by archeolo- 
gists, some implements had only one side 
sharpened and were used to cut and scrape. 


residents found yet another use for stone. 
They smoothed the edges and drilled holes in 
flat rocks to form pendants to hang from 
necklaces or bracelets. 

Innovation also extended to their diet. They 
learned to exploit freshwater mussels found in 
the river channel and no longer wandered as 
widely or as often foraging for something to 
eat. Moving less enabled them to amass more 
possessions, which they didn't have to carry 
with them everywhere. 

Eva graves disclosed more details about 
these Middle Archaic people. They gave their 
dead formal burials, with the body deliberately 
arranged in a flexed pose resembling the fetal 
position. In some cases, a dog accompanied 
the deceased, one of the earliest signs of their 
domestication. The individual's worldly goods 
were also interred, such as spearpoints and 
other tools. 

More proof that people were settling longer 
came in southwest Illinois along the Illinois 

River at Koster. Formal burials were found 
there, as well as the remains of platforms from 
what were potentially the first dwellings of 
long duration in the country. And in north 
Alabama, more burials with grave goods were 
discovered at the Stanfield-Worley rock shelter 
and inside Russell Cave, now a national monu- 

Besides making stone implements, the 
Alabama residents also crafted animal bone 
tools. For example, they formed an awl— a 
long taper— by sharpening a bone to a fine 
point, which they then used to punch holes in 
animal hides that could be sewn together for 
clothing or as shelter covers. 

Hunting techniques were also undergoing 
refinement. Another invention generally attrib- 
uted to the era and indicated at both the Ten- 
nessee and Alabama sites was the atlatl, or 
spearthrower, used to add speed and force to 
a hunter's toss. Made of wood and about half 
to a third the length of the spear, the atlatl 

Figure 25: An atlatl, or spearthrower, enabled the hunter to throw his weapon farther and with more force. 


attached to the spear end by means of a hook 
made from bone or deer antler. Once fastened, 
the spear then rested on the atlatl, which was 
often weighted with a stone, perhaps to bal- 
ance the throw. When a hunter spotted game, 
he poised the weapon over his shoulder then 
unleashed a powerful throw that unfurled the 
spear and left the atlatl in his hand. The pro- 
cess demanded the same precise aim, muscles, 
and technique that make a great baseball 

People in northern Alabama and western 
Tennessee also polished stones by rubbing 
them together. The polished stones were often 
used for purely aesthetic purposes such as 
jewelry, but a primary early use was as 
weights on atlatl sticks. 

While people in the reservoir area seemed 
untouched by many of these developments, by 
the close of the Middle Archaic period, or 
about 3000 B.C., land along the Savannah 
River was about to become a staging ground 
for innovation. The catalyst for change in the 
Late Archaic period which followed may have 
come from different sources. One possibility 
was the climate. The Middle Archaic years 
coincided with a global warming trend known 
as the hypisthermal, which brought dryer 
conditions to many places. But the effect this 
had on the Russell area is unclear. Most scien- 
tists agree the hypisthermal was a time of 
warm temperatures, possibly slightly warmer 
than today. But some think there was in- 
creased moisture in the region, while others 
talk of drought. 

Then, too, by the conclusion of the Middle 
Archaic period, sea levels, rising in fits and 
starts since the Ice Age, stabilized at about 
their present height, allowing migratory fish to 
begin moving far up the river to spawn. This 
provided a new source of food for humans and 
gave them incentive to spend more time along 
the Savannah River. 

During this period, as shown by the re- 
search of John Foss and Joseph Schuldenrein, 

Figure 26: The Guilford 
projectile point. 

the terraces along the sides of the river stabi- 
lized, meaning their form remained relatively 
unchanged over hundreds of years, making 
them more hospitable for long-term encamp- 

Fresh ideas may have also found their way 
into the vicinity because of population move- 
ments. As the end of the Middle Archaic era 
approached, there may have been a relocation 
towards the Savannah River from the mid- 
South where people already lived a more 
settled existence near major rivers. The influx 
of these new people is suggested by the ap- 
pearance of another spearpoint south of the 
reservoir near the fall line and in the Coastal 
Plain. Initially, the new occupants probably 
had no effect on those already established in 
the Russell area whose lives continued at the 
same measured pace with few changes. 

Near the end of this cultural tradition, 
however, inhabitants of the Russell area did 
begin to use a new spearpoint, the Guilford. 
With its long, lean lines, it resembles the old 
Clovis point of the Paleolndians. Eventually, 
the Guilford was replaced by spearpoints with 
squared stems. It was these projectiles that 
heralded the beginning of a new age, the Late 
Archaic period, a time of new ideas and 
widespread trade. 


Map 5: Important Late Archaic archeological sites in the Southeast are shown, including Sara's Ridge, Paris Island 
South, and Rocky River excavated in the Russell Reservoir Project Area (insert). 


Chapter 5 : A Wealth of Discoveries 

3000 to 2000 B.C. 

The Late Archaic Prece ramie Era 

On a clear morning in early spring, a hawk 
soared over a dense forest. His sharp eyes 
scoured the world below, searching for a 
small, careless animal that would provide his 
first meal of the day. Only the wind and the 
faint rustling of his wings disturbed the quiet 
until the hawk reached an unexpected clearing 
in the trees where loud, unfamiliar sounds 
erupted and disturbing swirls of gray smoke 
curled into the sky. Sensing danger, the hunter 
beat his powerful wings and was soon miles 

There was too much to do along the river 
that morning for anyone to notice the retreat- 
ing hawk. People involved in various activities 
were scattered across the quarter mile of the 
gap in the woods. They had cleared the land 
themselves by cutting away underbrush and 
small trees with stone axes. Bigger trees that 
couldn't be easily felled, were stripped of bark 
as high as a man's arms could reach with 
stone knives. Big swaths had been cut, leaving 
tender wood exposed, and soon killing the 
trees. The tallest upper limbs remained, but 
with branches now permanently devoid of 
leaves, allowing the sun's full strength to 
reach the ground. 

The sandy soil that once nurtured the trees 
and now was claimed by the settlers, was part 
of a long, broad levee parallel to the river, a 
summit built over thousands of years by floods 
depositing sediments. A ridge slightly higher 
than the rest of the levee gave an ideal vantage 
point. It was along the crest of the ridge that 
people built their homes. 

Young, sturdy hickory trees, stripped of 
branches and limbs, formed the frames of their 
houses. Pines were avoided because they 
snapped easily, but the hickory was strong and 

made limber by soaking in the river. When the 
wood was pliable, the men dug a wide oval of 
holes eight inches deep. They placed the tree 
poles, some a foot thick, into the holes and 
packed dirt around the bases to hold them 
securely. They left a gap wide enough for a 
doorway facing the river. 

Next, they pulled the tree tops towards the 
center of the oval and tied them together with 
vines. To finish the house, the women helped 
cover the frame with deer hides, plant thatch, 
and bark strips taken from the big trees. The 
shelter was only partly effective for keeping 
out the rain and cold, but inside there was a 
smoldering fire within a stone circle that could 
be stoked for more warmth, as well as for 

Near the fire in the dirt floor were two 
shallow pits where food wrapped in animal 
skins was kept, safe from scavengers and 
ready to be prepared for the next meal. The 
dwelling floor and ground around the shelter 
were swept clean of debris. Outside the house, 
several more fires burned nearby and there 
were also more pits. These were about a foot- 
and-a-half to three feet wide and about eight 
inches deep. Some, like the holes inside the 
shelter, were used to store food, while others 
were for cooking. 

Animal skins, scraped with sharp rocks 
until free of flesh and hair, were loosely 
stretched across the cooking pits. The edges of 
the skins were pegged securely to the ground 
with sharp sticks. A stew of meat from white- 
tail deer, roots, and herbs simmered in one of 
these skin containers. From time to time, one 
of the women tending the stew went to a 
nearby fire where she used a long stick to pull 
out a soapstone slab with a hole in it from the 


flames. By pushing the stick further through 
the hole, she was able to carry the hot rock to 
the cooking pit where she dropped it into the 
stew. The liquid rose to a fast boil from the 
added heat, then eventually returned to a 
simmer, which lasted for some time. 

She repeated the process many times, 
walking to the fire, built far enough away to 
avoid ash blowing into the cooking food, 
pulling out a dangerously hot rock, then 
depositing it into the stew, until she was 
satisfied with the results. Her young daughter 
shadowed her footsteps, watching and learn- 

Behind the shelter and down the slight slope 
from the ridge crest, another group of fires 
was scattered from five to ten yards away. 
Here the men and boys gathered. Their laugh- 
ter mixed with the sounds of preparing stone 
weapons and their recalling the day's success- 
ful hunt. One man fed green wood onto a fire 
to cause smoke to waft over deer meat and 
fish arranged on wooden frames close by. 
When the food was thoroughly dried and 
smoked, he would give it to the women to 
save for other days when the hunting and 
fishing did not go so well. 

Between some of the fires, rough poles of 
hickory and oak were stuck in the ground and 
draped with animal skins stretched between 
them to block the cool breeze. These baffles 
also helped keep the smoke from escaping 
before it served its purpose of drying the fish 
and meat. The sharp sound of rocks hitting 
rocks punctuated the air, and splinters flew 
dangerously as some men made weapons and 
tools. Stone debris was everywhere underfoot. 

Furious growling caught everyone's atten- 
tion. Two dogs were wrangling over a bony 
piece of meat, dragged away from the fires 
when nobody was watching. The fire tender 
picked up a sharp rock and threw it at the 
dogs, who momentarily stopped their battle, 
then quickly resumed it. 


About 5,000 years ago, not far from An- 
derson, South Carolina, people gathered in 

such a place and likely engaged in such activi- 
ties. Their existence came to light during 
excavations guided by Dean Wood, who 
named the site Sara's Ridge after the newborn 
daughter of two of his crew. 

Sara's Ridge also marked an epiphany of 
sorts for archeology because it was on this 
crest overlooking the Savannah River that 
some of the first evidence of substantial hous- 
ing from early prehistory in the Southeast was 
discovered. The dramatic finding took place 
when archeologists located 87 stains buried in 
the soil, marks caused by posts driven into the 
ground, which left the discolorations as they 
decayed. Some of these stains, called post- 
molds, could have come from rotting tree 
roots, but at least 25 resulted unmistakably 
from sapling posts deliberately arranged. 

Before Sara's Ridge, only three other sites 
in Georgia and South Carolina had shown any 
sign of Late Archaic housing, again detected 
by postmolds. Stains indicating a possible 
lean-to were found in the Georgia Coastal 
Plain near the Savannah River, while in South 
Carolina, a small, D-shaped postmold pattern 
was uncovered on Hilton Head Island, and 
potential signs of a structure about three yards 
long were discovered on Sol Legare Island. 
But with the possible exception of the Sol 
Legare site, these other postmolds indicated 
insubstantial structures, making the find at 
Sara's Ridge all the more important. (Since 
completion of the Russell Reservoir studies, 
archeologists have uncovered evidence of 
several other Late Archaic houses in Georgia.) 

The discoveries on the levee crest at Sara's 
Ridge might never have happened with differ- 
ent weather and less skillful researchers. The 
crew gathered on the ridge in February. They 
were young, mostly in their twenties and 
thirties, a mix of professional archeologists, 
students, and interested amateurs. Some of 
them camped on the site during the dig, with 
a few trying their hands at fishing in the river 
and cooking their catches over campfires. 

Field work began soon after dawn and 
continued until sunset. Tasks were physically 


K«ure27: Sara's Kidgc might has<-k.oked like this. The woman in the foreground is cooking with soapstone slabs, while 
hunters carry a dwr toward racks where fish are being dried OTCT a fire. 

strenuous with much digging, stooping, and 
carrying, but there was always the possibility 
of finding something significant. 

A bulldozer equipped with a sharp blade 
prepared the site by clearing away surface 
soil. Then the crew marked the ground into 
precise meter squares (about a yard wide) by 
inserting stakes, creating a grid for pinpointing 
exactly which spot might later yield a discov- 
ery. Patiently, workers dug with sharp, flat 
shovels inside the squares, scooping out about 
four inches of dirt, then sifting the soil 
through a screen stretched across a wood 
frame suspended from saplings. Dirt could 
pass through the quarter-inch mesh, but most 
stone artifacts would remain on the screen. 

They labored methodically, square by 
square, without any startling results. Then 
they repeated the cycle, starting at the first 
square and digging down four more inches in 
a tedious procedure that couldn't be rushed. 

Finally, between two and three feet below the 
surface, darkened circles in the soil appeared. 

The discolorations would have gone unno- 
ticed by most because postmolds are often 
only faintly perceptible from surrounding soil. 
Even trained eyes may overlook the stains if a 
hot sun hits the soil surface because the heat 
and exposure can quickly erase them from 
view. But fortunately, a recent rain had damp- 
ened the earth at Sara's Ridge and prevented 
the postmolds from vanishing before they 
could be mapped. 

Analyzing their findings, the archeologists 
later speculated that most of the stains repre- 
sented benches, drying racks for fish and 
meat, and baffles to block the wind. But the 
most exciting discovery was a distinct oval of 
postmolds about seven-and-a-half yards long 
and five-and-a-half yards wide. This had to be 
the outline of a shelter. 

They looked closely for any signs of clay 







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;06.,, -. -.dQdv- ..« ° '/ 117 

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O/Affl;?. 112 "»»•> *:?fr. m ^121 

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Figure 28: Using circles and other marks, archeologists show Late Archaic features, including postmolds, at Sara's 
Ridge. Such drawings give a bird's eye view of discovered artifacts and features. 


Figure 29: Mesh screens are suspended from saplings, ready to sift dirt in the search for artifacts. 

daub to indicate that the dwelling had been 
coated with a mix of mud and grass, but found 
none. They concluded that the builders must 
have covered their home instead with animal 
skins, bark, or thatch, or perhaps a mixture of 
the three. Later, in the same general area, 
prehistoric people did smear their structures 
with an insulating and preserving mud blend. 
There were so many postmolds along one 
side of the oval that researchers think that 
section of the house was repaired or rebuilt 
several times. Rebuilding is compatible with 
the theory that Sara's Ridge was reoccupied 
over the years, perhaps to take advantage of 
seasonally migrating fish. The river flowing 

nearby was shallow and only about 100 yards 
wide. This offered an ideal place to build a 
stone dam or a V-shaped stone weir for fun- 
neling fish into a small area so they could then 
be easily captured in nets or speared. 

The Savannah was relatively unique among 
Southeastern rivers because of its use by 
migratory fish. In the years before dams 
blocked their way, the fish swam in the Savan- 
nah's waters far inland, deep into the Pied- 
mont, providing a reliable, annual catch in a 
season when other resources were somewhat 

Marine fish such as shad began their return 
to inland spawning sites in early spring, per- 


haps alerted to start by a change in ocean 
temperature. Thousands of them struggled 
against the river currents, throwing themselves 
over rock falls, compelled by some irresist- 
ible, internal drive. If they survived this 
endurance test during which they ate nothing 
for up to four months, females laid as many as 
365,000 eggs apiece near where they them- 
selves were spawned. The males then fertilized 
the eggs, which floated downstream. 

Fewer than one percent of the eggs pro- 
duced hatchlings. These and surviving adult 
fish eventually swam back to the ocean where 
they stayed until the younger generation was 
eventually driven back to the river to fulfill its 
role in the cycle. 

While intercepting the fish as they swam 
past the rocky shoals would have fed many on 
the levee called Sara's Ridge, capturing them 
in nets or weirs would have required many 
cooperative hands. The abundant signs of 
human habitation at the site suggest such a 
possibility, although a firm conclusion about 
the number of people who spent time there is 

Undoubtedly, cooking was one of their 
major preoccupations. Two possible hearths 
existed within the oval shelter, along with 
several more hearths nearby. In the work area 
on the slope behind the house, evidence of 18 
more hearths was uncovered. So many fires 
suggest that more than one dwelling existed, 
although there was no definitive sign of oth- 

Possibly the site was a seasonal gathering 
place for people who normally lived apart. 
Because there were no plant-processing tools 
uncovered, such as pitted rocks, the residents' 
purpose in choosing the spot perhaps was quite 
specific— to fish, hunt, or both. While they 
might have used wood tools to prepare plants, 
the wood would have disintegrated, leaving no 
trace. Probably, however, stone tools were 
preferred. Stone tools, apparently used for 
processing plants, were found at another site 

Remnants of ancient maypop seeds and 

hickory and walnut shells did appear at Sara's 
Ridge mixed in with the soil of the Late Ar- 
chaic period, so the inhabitants may well have 
eaten those foods. The maypop is a vine that 
produces a sweet, yellow fruit from an exqui- 
site purple and white blossom popularly 
known as the passion flower. Traces of pollen 
from ragweed, often an indication of cleared 
land, were also found at the site. 

An examination of Late Archaic tools at 
Sara's Ridge disclosed they were made of 
chert, quartz, and metamorphic rocks. The 
metamorphic rocks came from at least 25 
miles to the south, perhaps even farther. Most 
major sources of the stone are north of Augus- 
ta, Georgia, more than a 50-mile trip for the 
people of Sara's Ridge if the stone wasn't 
obtained through trade. 

Soapstone slabs with holes drilled in them 
found at the site, coupled with others from a 
nearby excavation at Paris Island South, pro- 
vided new information about the possible 
function of these artifacts. Previously, most 
archeologists had assumed these perforated 
rock slabs were "netsinkers" used, as their 
name implies, for weighing down fishing nets. 
But their frequent discovery near hearths at 
Sara's Ridge and Paris Island South suggests 
instead that they served as boiling stones. 

Like Sara's Ridge, the Late Archaic site at 
Paris Island South was located on a levee 
overlooking the Savannah River. The excava- 
tion there, organized by Dean Wood and Dan 
Elliott, indicated that housing was probably 
once located on the crest of the levee, but any 
signs of a structure had been washed away 
from the island. Left intact, however, was an 
area for making stone tools located on the 
slope beneath the crest. This work area was 
conveniently close to probable dwellings but 
enough removed from the main living area to 
protect bare feet from sharp rock. The accu- 
mulation of stone debris there was much 
heavier than at Sara's Ridge. 

Refuse of all kinds, which archeologists call 
midden, was once so plentiful at Paris Island 
South that as it decomposed it stained the earth 


a faint black, in some spots up to 16 inches 
thick. The discoloration, although welcome 
proof of human existence, interfered with the 
process of locating storage and cooking pits 
and postmolds. However, a few posts had 
been driven deep enough beneath the stained 
soil to confirm the probable location of drying 
racks or other sorts of frames. The postmolds 
appeared near charcoal and fire-cracked rock, 
indicative of hearths. 

This prehistoric garbage dump, stretching 
over 16 yards long and more than six yards 
wide, yielded as many as 760 flaked stone 
tools, including spearpoints and knives. The 
huge volume and variety of artifacts were 
pivotal because they revealed that people along 
the river were now staying longer in one 
place. Paris Island South was either a year- 
round residence or at least a semi-permanent 
home for a family or small extended family. 

Also on the island, a category of stone tool 
surfaced that hadn't appeared at sites in the 
area from earlier periods. Called a mano, the 
flat stone, somewhat smaller than an adult 
hand, was used for grinding and crushing 
seeds and other plant edibles. Four manos 
were found— two intact, two broken. They 
were all rubbed smooth on both sides from 
frequent use. 

Two pitted stones were also unearthed. 
Seven pits in one of these stones imply exten- 
sive use, perhaps for cracking nuts. There 
were also three hammerstones. 

Other artifacts prompt an intriguing notion 
that the islanders may have engaged in a 
cottage industry of sorts, producing the curi- 
ous perforated soapstone slabs for trading. 
Paris Island South is not far from a soapstone 
outcrop just across the river in Elbert County, 
Georgia, making the raw material readily 
available. Among the persuasive discoveries 
favoring the idea of prehistoric commerce was 
a profusion of these artifacts which were 
previously considered to be netsinkers. Piecing 
424 scattered fragments together in a technique 
called cross-mending, researchers ended up 
with 46 complete perforated slabs. Less than 

half-an-inch thick, they averaged about six- 
and-a-half inches long and about four inches 
wide. The slabs were mostly shaped into 
rectangles or pentagons. Smooth surfaces were 
predominant, but several had thin lines or 
small notches etched in the surfaces, perhaps 
for decoration. 

More findings in support of a possible 
manufacturing center were 23 stone drills that 
were once attached to wooden handles. The 
drill points matched the sizes of holes in the 
slabs. There were also some partially drilled 
slabs and a grinding stone used to shape the 
slabs, along with many stone scrapers, once 
attached to handles, used to smooth the soap- 

There was probably a receptive market for 
the prepared slabs. Studies by Dan Elliott and 
Kenneth Sassaman have shown that people 
living farther away from soapstone sources 
tried to salvage broken perforated slabs by 
drilling new holes in them, indicating they 
valued the artifacts. But Paris Island South 
residents apparently never bothered to redrill 
holes, maybe because more soapstone was so 
easy to get. 

Other illustrations of stone working on the 
island displayed the first hint in the Russell 
studies of another, distinctively human 
trait— the desire to ornament the body. A 
highly polished stone bead of reddish brown 
was found, as well as two smooth, small slabs 
of stone, possibly pendants or gaming pieces. 

Still more artifacts, stone cobbles with 
abraded edges, suggest use in forming wood 
tools. Also found were stone abraders with 
grooves which were used to sharpen bone, 
antlers, or wood into points for use as fish- 
hooks, chisels, awls, and spearpoints. 

Unlike Sara's Ridge, where artifacts were 
made of metavolcanics and chert, most of 
those found at Paris Island South were formed 
from quartz, probably because the residents 
didn't travel far for materials. Of the tools not 
made from quartz, one percent— mostly crude 
cleavers used for chopping and stone flakes 
for scraping— were of a poor-quality chert. 







^*s. .. 

V *^» 


.1 ita* 


5 cm 




(5 2 inches 

!J ^S | 2 „a,farrr. m .n«a., t h ^- 

Fig»re30: Different types of soapstone slabs were found at three 

Map 6: Paris Island South, 9EB21 in the lower left of the map, was probably occupied most of the year 
during the Late Archaic era. Contour lines denote land elevations, which are measured in meters. 


The chert probably came from bluffs that 
formed one side of the island and overlooked 
the river not far from the campsite. Pieces of 
chert were also available in the river bed. 

Not far from Paris Island South, another 
site was explored. Called Rocky River, its 
name comes from the adjacent river, a tribu- 
tary of the Savannah. The site dates between 
2970 and 2990 B.C., the same approximate 
time of occupation as the site at Sara's Ridge. 
Paris Island South was apparently used a 
century or two later, between 2700 and 2900 

The Rocky River excavation, located about 
a half mile from the Savannah River in Abbe- 
ville County, South Carolina, featured an 
expansive stone working area on the back 
slope of a slight ridge. This work place was 
also part of a thick prehistoric garbage dump 
or midden, a strong sign of extensive human 

Researchers Charles Cantley and Andrea 
Lee Novick found that all stages of spearpoint 
production took place at Rocky River. Inter- 
estingly, however, larger flakes from the 
beginning stages of spearpoint manufacturing 
showed up mainly on the outskirts of the 
midden. Perhaps toolmakers periodically swept 
their primary work area clean. 

The presence of heavy bone deposits were 
detected through soil chemical analysis by 
Joseph Schuldenrein, the project geoarcheol- 

Figure 32: Stone drills were among the Late Archaic tools discovered during the Russell 

Figure 31: Grooved abraders made of stone were 
used to sharpen bone, antler, and wood tools. 

ogist. Late Archaic people left animal and fish 
bones, stripped of their flesh, to decay until 
only the chemical residue remained. Tests also 
detected considerable phosphate, suggesting 
they deliberately cleared trees and burned 
them to attract wildlife, especially deer, and to 
promote growth of the leafy plants with many 
seeds that the inhabitants ate in quantity. 

Like Sara's Ridge, Rocky River was a 
likely place for people who normally lived 
apart to gather to hunt or fish. The river 
adjacent to the site is usually shallow, and 
there is a band of igneous rocks spanning the 
water. This forms a natural weir useful for 
catching fish. Not many such ideal spots for 
catching migrating fish existed in this general 
area, which may have encouraged scattered 
groups to camp at Rocky River and cooperate. 

Too, such gatherings 
would have had the 
added bonus of renew- 
ing ties among nor- 
mally isolated people, 
who could exchange 
information while they 
caught and prepared 

For the first time, a 
stronger chain of com- 
mand would have been 
required because ex- 
panded food-gathering 
tasks required a more 


Site Map, 38AB91 

1980 Excavation Unii 
■ 1981 EacavationUnit 
o • Bore Hot* 
Contour ISO cm. Intervals) 


Figure 33: This site drawing of the Rocky River excavation represents the 
setting shown in Figure 34. 

complex organization than the former egalitari- 
anism, and likely fostered the beginnings of 
tribal control. These societies probably had 
various leaders, each with different status. 

In the 1970's archeologists Albert Goodyear 
and John House theorized that Late Archaic 
people tended to spend most of the year in 
basecamps near the river and less time in the 
nearby uplands, a view largely substantiated 
by research connected with the Russell studies. 
Scientists now recognize a number of site 
types for the Late Archaic period, denoting a 
society grown more complex. These site types, 
in part from a model developed by Dean 
Wood and Dan Elliott, include: 

• Basecamps . including Paris Island South 

near the Savannah River, where people lived 
all or most of the year; 

• Seasonal camps along the river, like 
Sara's Ridge and Rocky River, where usually 
dispersed people pooled resources to get food; 

• Quarries where task forces collected 
rocks. Three soapstone quarries were found in 
the Russell area not far from Paris Island 
South and Rocky River; 

• Quarry workshops where the first steps in 
shaping rocks were taken. Archeologists found 
such a work area within 200 yards of one of 
the soapstone quarries; 

• Transitory camps in the uplands and 
along the river for specialized uses such as fall 
deer hunting or walnut and hickory nut collec- 



Figure 34: A natural rock weir ideal for catching fish is visible in the river, while the site where archeologists dug to 
find Late Archaic deposits appears near the top of the aerial photograph. 

tion. Some of these camps were repeatedly 
used by hunting task forces or even entire 

Before the Russell studies, there was little 
evidence to suggest that people of this era had 
established major settlements in the interior of 
Georgia and South Carolina like those found at 
Sara's Ridge, Paris Island South, and Rocky 
River. Excavations of those sites also sur- 
prised experts in another way. The people who 
once lived there did not depend on shellfish 

like those who came after them and lived 
farther south along the Savannah River. 

Maybe those within the Russell area influ- 
enced others farther south in their decision to 
stay for longer periods along the Savannah 
River, a shift destined to have dramatic conse- 
quences. On Stallings Island near Augusta, 
Georgia, and at neighboring places, prehistoric 
people were about to make a discovery that 
would change life throughout much of the 
eastern United States. 

Map 7: Important Late Archaic sites in the Southeast are shown, including those excavated in the Russell Project 
Area in Georgia and South Carolina (insert). 


Chapter 6: A Leap Forward 

2000 to 1000 B.C. 

The Late Archaic Ceramic Era 

Hunger, always a powerful motivation, 
perhaps played a role in some of the changes 
in prehistoric cultures. After people perfected 
hunting and gathering techniques and learned 
to preserve food, they were still faced with the 
problem of inadequate cooking methods. 
Roasting meat over campfires was only one of 
their preferences. They were particularly fond 
of stews, which could not be cooked in the 
same way. Boiling liquid meals in animal 
skins stretched over pits sufficed as a solution 
for a time, but the repeated heating of boiling 
stones was inefficient and tedious. There had 
to be a better way. 

Maybe the solution, like so many steps in 
human progress, came by accident. Consider 
the possibility, suggests Dean Wood, that a 
family built one of their cooking fires over a 
shallow pit lined with clay that was slightly 
damp from rain. Perhaps after the fire had 
burned out, someone happened to notice that 
the dirt texture in the pit was different than 
before. Heat from the fire had baked the clay 
solid, and because of the pit curve, the residue 
was slightly rounded and could be lifted out. 

The discoverer would have marveled at the 
misshapened bowl, and no doubt experimented 
with it, carrying it to the river to test, and 
inviting others to witness the revelation when 
the vessel somehow held water. They would 
have passed the object around, taking turns 
drinking from its uneven sides, until somehow 
the treasure slipped to the ground and smashed 
into pieces. But if such a wonder could happen 
once, it must be possible again, and the cre- 
ative spark was ignited. 

In truth, scientists can only speculate about 
how the momentous invention of pottery came 
about, but they can say with fairly dependable 

accuracy that ceramics first appeared along the 
Savannah River about 4,500 years ago. 

A small patch of land in the river near 
Augusta, Georgia, called Stallings Island was 
first excavated in the late 1800's. There, amid 
an enormous heap of discarded freshwater 
mussel shells, archeologists found broken 
pottery pieces, called potsherds or sherds. 
Research showed that prehistoric people feast- 
ed on mollusks at Stallings Island in great 
numbers, throwing the shells into a pile that 
reached 12 feet tall, 500 feet wide, and 1,500 
feet long. 

Mussels, easily retrieved from their shallow 
burials in riverbeds, were possibly the incen- 
tive for scattered groups, who normally lived 
miles apart, to gather regularly on the island. 
Maybe among them were people from the 
Russell area, some of whom would have 
traveled more than 50 miles for the occasion. 

Harvesting shellfish was only one of the 
rewards of the journey. Renewal of ties with 
distant relatives and friends was accomplished, 
and new alliances and improved relations 
resulted that helped prevent territorial disputes 
and possible bloodshed. Probably there were 
ceremonies and the choosing of mates. Per- 
haps among the story swapping and sharing of 
knowledge that would have marked such 
events, the one who discovered pottery dem- 
onstrated how to make containers. Soon peo- 
ple who gathered at the island were making 
and using a great deal of pottery. 

As they used and broke the ceramics, 
people tossed the fragments on the shell piles, 
which over the centuries acted as preservative 
shields for many ancient items. When archeol- 
ogists examined the shell heap thousands of 
years later, they located an exceptional collec- 


tion of artifacts, including fragile bone tools of 
awls and fish hooks. There were also decora- 
tive pins, shell beads, and bone and stone 
pendants of such diversity and in such quanti- 
ties that great multitudes of prehistoric visitors 
are indicated. But the bits of pottery were 
most remarkable of all because none had been 
found from so long ago elsewhere in the 
United States. 

The potters, whose work survived only in 
fragments, had learned to improve on the 
original mix of clay and water by adding 
strands of grass, roots, and other plant fibers. 
These strengthening or tempering additions 
burned away in the firing, leaving tiny holes 
where they had fortified the vessels. 

Years after the breakthrough appearance of 
ceramics at Stallings Island, archeologists in 
the Russell studies discovered that early pot- 
tery made its way farther north in the Pied- 
mont than anyone had previously thought. 
Two-hundred-seven sherds of fiber-tempered 

pottery were unearthed in the reservoir area. 
Almost 70 percent of the sherds came from 
one site, McCalla Bottoms, in the middle of 
the study area on the South Carolina side of 
the Savannah River. Another 20 percent was 
uncovered nearby at Rucker's Bottom in 
Elbert County, Georgia, while the rest came 
from small clusters at seven other locations. 
Organic material associated with some of 
the pottery was subjected to radiocarbon 
dating to determine its age. Results date the 
samples found at McCalla Bottoms to around 
1500 B.C. Radiocarbon dating for two other 
sites examined with the same type of pottery 
produced readings earlier than that, but for 
various reasons those findings are less certain. 
So while pottery making may have taken place 
in the reservoir area before 1500 B.C., there 
was no substantial evidence found to indicate 
that was the case. Nevertheless, only a small 
portion of the 52,000 acres was excavated, 
and even with the best technology, scientists' 

Figure 35: Most early ceramics found in the Russell investigations came from McCalla Bottoms, viewed here. 
Archeologists did not expect to find early pottery so far north. 


Figure 36: These ceramic sherds, some of the earliest in eastern North America, are about 3,500 years old. The 
decorations were made by pushing pointed tools into the wet clay. 


j Hk 



2 in. 

5 cm. 

Figure 37: The base of a soapsloue Uml was found at Gregg Shoals iu fragments, which archeologisU pieced together. 

luck played a part in targeting sites rich in 
archeological material. 

Even after people learned to mold clay into 
useful shapes, they continued for a time to use 
a much less efficient method for making 
containers— gouging them out of solid rock. 
Fragments of such bowls formed from soap- 
stone appeared at McCalla Bottoms mixed in 
with potsherds. 

Novice potters working with clay likely 
copied the shapes of their creations from the 
rock bowls, which were the result of a labori- 
ous effort that began with carving a crude 
toadstool outline in a boulder. The relatively 
soft soapstone was the preferred rock, but 
even so, freeing the contour of a container 
required persistent, forceful assault with a 
mallet. Soapstone boulders with the unfinished 
bowl still imprisoned in the rock divulge the 
technique, as well as the difficulty some had 
with the process. The final step was to chisel 
out the center of the detached hunk until a 
hollow was formed, resulting in a serviceable, 
but cumbersome and heavy vessel. 

Gradually, use of the rock containers de- 
clined and pottery began to dominate. Use of 
supposed boiling stones also faded, although 
some continued to emerge at excavations dated 
to the period. 

Most prehistoric potters were probably 

women, if contemporary analogies of preliter- 
ate people are accurate. Men, experts assume, 
were the primary meat hunters, while women 
gathered mostly plant foods and prepared 
much of what was eaten. Exceptions to the 
role playing were likely, considering how 
imperative cooperation and versatility were to 
mutual survival. 

Assuming, however, that generalities about 
male and female behavior are fairly accurate, 
a woman just starting to make pots would have 
started by gathering clay from the river banks. 
Next she collected water to add to the clay 
until it became malleable like paste. Then she 
used her fingers to mold the desired shape, 
and perhaps also smoothed away rough spots 
with a flat stone. (Soon potters learned to roll 
clay into skinny coils and to pile them on top 
of each other to form pots.) 

Once the potter finished shaping the form 
to her satisfaction, she set the pot in the sun to 
dry thoroughly. Then came the last, and most 
precarious step. If her handiwork was to be 
strong and useful, it had to be subjected to a 
test of fire. 

The potter closely arranged kindling and 
logs around the pot, then set them ablaze. She 
kept the fire roaring hot for a long while until 
only embers were left, then she finally learned 
if all her efforts had been worthwhile or futile. 


Tests Of Time 

When cosmic rays hit the earth's atmosphere striking nitrogen atoms, radioactive carbon, called carbon 
14 (C14) is created. Carbon 14 is unstable, and eventually, through the process of radioactive decay, 
becomes nitrogen again. Plants, by breathing in carbon dioxide, and animals, through the food they eat, 
absorb carbon 14, maintaining a relatively constant ratio of carbon 14 to normal carbon within their tissues. 
Once the plant or animal dies, the intake of carbon 14 ends, and what remains breaks down into nitrogen 
at a constant rate. Because the loss of carbon 14 is measurable, scientists can estimate how old once-living 
things are by the amount of carbon 14 they contain. For example, in about 5,730 years, the amount of 
carbon 14 left in organic remains drops to half of its original level, then, in about 11,460 years, decreases 
to one-fourth its original level. 

Measuring carbon 14 in bone, wood, charcoal, or other remains requires complicated chemical 
processes to purify the specimen and then transform it into a gas or liquid, which is then measured for the 
amount of carbon 14 present relative to more stable carbon. Through this process, scientists can estimate 
the age of a specimen up to about 50,000 years. Some advanced laboratories can extend the dating to 
100,000 years. 

Errors can occur in the test, however, to alter the date, sometimes by hundreds of years, identifying 
the specimen as older or younger than it actually is. Consequently, archeologists prefer having a number 
of objects from a site carbon dated for comparison. They also examine where the carbon-dated materials 
were found to see if artifacts known to originate during a particular era were nearby. Studying the soil 
layers above and beneath a carbon 14 tested specimen to determine which period of artifacts preceded and 
followed it, is also useful. 

Other methods are also helpful to determine dates. Radioactive potassium is examined, for example, 
in volcanic material because it eventually reverts to argon. This test works best when researchers are 
looking for dates millions of years ago because half of the radioactive potassium will break down in about 
1.3 billion years. 

To learn when a ceramic piece was made, thermoluminescence dating is useful. Clay is heated above 
380 degrees centigrade, then the light emitted and radioactive material present are measured to learn when 
the clay was first fired. 

Fission track dating is the study of submicroscopic damage trails left by the decay of uranium atoms 
in volcanic materials, glasses, and other substances to learn how old they are. 

Most of these techniques are relatively new and continue to be refined. They are also costly. Dating 
specimens, however, doesn't always require an advanced degree in chemistry or great expense. Thomas 
Jefferson, sometimes called the Father of American Archeology, was among the first to suggest another 
dating method still used today— studying tree rings. Called dendrochronology— which is the comparison of 
changes in annual tree rings caused by climate— the technique has proven especially helpful in some regions 
such as the arid American Southwest where wood has helped date old Indian structures. 

Sometimes the intense heat cracked a pot, 
rendering it useless, but if it remained intact, 
the jeopardy was worth the resulting creation, 
a durable vessel which eased life a little. 

Eventually, the potter learned, perhaps 
from another woman some distance away, how 
to enhance the beauty of her clay wares. Using 
a sharp stick or piece of river cane, she fash- 
ioned a design near the rim of the wet pot 
before setting it out to dry. To do this, she 
pushed the stick point into the clay, leaving a 

small indention called a punctation, then she 
briefly dragged the stick across the clay, 
etching a thin line between the first punctation 
and the one she made next. She repeated the 
pattern until the entire rim was decorated. 

At McCalla Bottoms, ceramics displaying 
this punch-and-drag style were common, while 
nearby at Rucker's Bottom, potters preferred 
rows of punctations. Archeologists are unsure 
why the difference developed. Possibly one 
style preceded the other, just as certain spear- 


Map 8: Knowledge of pottery making could have spread into the interior of the country by three different 
routes, as indicated by the arrows. 

point designs were used earlier than others. 
Or, maybe the two embellishments simply 
reflect the originality of individual artists. 

Among the earliest ceramics found in the 
reservoir boundaries, 84 are undecorated and 
123 have punctations. In comparison, pottery 
fragments discovered at Stallings Island have 
more complex geometric patterns. Perhaps, as 
David Anderson suggests, the gathering of 
different populations there stirred a need to 
exhibit ownership or group affiliation. 

The manner and the direction in which 
pottery- making spread interests archeologists. 
Most think down-the-line trade was the norm. 
Under this theory, one band of people traded 
ceramics and shared the method for making it 
with neighbors in an adjoining territory. The 
neighbors, in turn, bartered the knowledge 
with people living on their other border, and 
so on, until the technique saturated the area. 

People were making pots along the St. 
John's River in northern Florida soon after ce- 
ramic use began, and within about a thousand 

years, the innovation had reached the Poverty 
Point culture in Louisiana, and spread into 
Alabama and Tennessee. With the unexpected 
find of fiber-tempered sherds in the Russell 
area, authorities began to consider the possibil- 
ity that the use of pottery originally moved 
northward along the Savannah River into 
Tennessee and into the country's interior. But 
Kenneth Sassaman proposes instead a path 
spreading west from the Savannah River along 
the fall line to the Chattahoochee River, then 
south to the Gulf of Mexico coast, then west 
again, and eventually north into the interior. 
Yet another theory suggests that pottery dis- 
seminated from the mouth of the Savannah 
along the coast. All three routes are potentially 

It's also possible that people carried knowl- 
edge of pottery themselves into distant territo- 
ries as they explored on long trips. Just how 
far Late Archaic people roamed is uncertain; 
nor do we know how big their territories 
were. Two conflicting views exist. The pre- 


dominant opinion is that territories shrank; the 
other is that they enlarged, and that groups 
traveled extensively in different seasons, 
perhaps all the way from the mountains into 
the Coastal Plain. 

Certainly, ideas and trade items traveled 
great distances. Red jasper beads from Louisi- 
ana show up in Tennessee and in Florida's 
northern panhandle, and soapstone artifacts 
have surfaced in Louisiana far from any 
source of the mineral. 

Within the reservoir area, some stone 
artifacts were made from chert from distant 
sources 100 to 150 miles away, in extreme 
northwest Georgia and eastern Tennessee. 
Most chert tools, however, were formed from 
rock sources near the area. Archeologist Jerald 
Ledbetter discovered that there was chert 
available nearby in a thin zone running across 
the Piedmont from south of Athens, Georgia 
to near the Savannah River. 

The diversity of materials used in reservoir 
area artifacts is a strong argument for the idea 
that trade was conducted with outsiders. At 

McCalla Bottoms, for example, about 63 
percent of the spearpoints were made from 
metavolcanic, slate-like rocks, ten percent 
from quartz, and about 26 percent from chert. 

But reaching any conclusions about life 
within the study boundaries was difficult 
because of the absence of heavy garbage 
staining. The lack of such midden staining 
implies that McCalla Bottoms and other Late 
Archaic sites nearby, where pottery was pres- 
ent, were not occupied for long. 

The heavy artifact concentration found at 
McCalla Bottoms, then, could signal that this 
was a temporary gathering place for separate 
groups who normally lived apart in the Pied- 
mont. Or, McCalla Bottoms could have served 
as a camp for visitors who moved into the 
area from lands closer to the coast. Maybe all 
the pottery unearthed at McCalla Bottoms and 
throughout the Russell area was left by such 
visitors from the Coastal Plain. 

Whatever its genesis, once the idea of 
pottery took root, enhancing the invention was 
inevitable. The next improvement developed in 

Choosing The Best Rock 

Spearpoints had many other uses besides hunting during the Late Archaic years, and toolmakers became 
more selective in picking the best rock for a particular task. For example, metavolcanic points found in the 
Russell area were frequently rounded on the edges, a sign of abrasion. This indicates they were used to cut 
soft objects like animal skins or plants which caused some friction, but not as much as wood or bone would 
have caused. Metavolcanic rocks were also formed into drills and into the thinnest, flattest points, ideal for 
slicing and fine-cutting uses like deboning and scaling fish. 

After studying the many lengthwise breaks on quartz points, archeologist Michael Alterman concluded 
that people preferred quartz for cutting and sawing hard objects such as bone, wood, and other tough plant 
fibers. He also found that quartz points from this era vary the most in size, reflecting differences in stone 
quality. Quartz was also popular for making scrapers. The related mineral, quartzite, was used in crude 
tools that often showed signs of hammering or battering. 

Hunters preferred larger spearpoints when they were away from basecamp for long stretches because 
the bigger sizes allowed much resharpening. Often, the largest points were made of metavolcanic rocks, 
which were comparatively easier to shape than quartz. Points made of chert were also resharpened often, 
with some reworked so much that they became quite small. 

Most Late Archaic spearpoints have wide stems, many of which are square. Some stems, however, 
expand slightly at the base, while others contract. Many odd, ill-formed points also were used. The best- 
known spearpoint of the time was the Savannah River Stemmed, also called the Broadpoint because of its 
large blade. Savannah River Stemmed points have appeared along the East Coast as far north as New 


Figure 38: This Savannah River Stemmed spearpoint, 
found broken, is about two inches tail. 

South Carolina, south and east of the reser- 
voir. A potter, again perhaps by accident, 
mixed some sand with the clay and water, 
resulting in a strengthened vessel. Sand-tem- 
pered pottery eventually moved into the reser- 
voir area. Local artists, however, continued to 
cling to their old designs, decorating with 
punctations, aligned in rows and randomly 
placed, and with punch-and-drag motifs. 

Before the discovery of sand-tempered 
pottery, ceramic dishes were quite fragile. 
Fiber-tempered wares, after their own firing, 
could be heated only by placing them on red- 
hot rocks. Otherwise they would crack. The 
reinforced sand-tempered pottery, called the 
Thorn's Creek Series, could be placed directly 
into the fire. 

Archeologist Albert Goodyear conjectures 
that the transition from roasting foods, to 
using boiling stones, to cooking in pots placed 
on hot rocks, to cooking in pots directly over 
fire, resulted from growing population and 
diminishing territories. The concomitant de- 
cline in resources, he theorizes, forced im- 

provements in cooking efficiency. With stews 
and other foods cooked in pots, calories and 
nutrients were stretched and enhanced. The 
resulting better diet improved chances of 
survival for the young. 

Longer stays at one location also fueled the 
birth rate, a phenomenon long documented by 
anthropologists and archeologists, who have 
learned that when wandering people settle 
down their population soars. But population 
growth was possibly not as dramatic in the 
Piedmont during the Late Archaic period as it 
was in the Coastal Plain. Therefore, there was 
probably less pressure on resources in the 
Piedmont, which may help explain why so few 
reservoir sites contained significant amounts of 
early pottery. 

Spearpoints for the Late Archaic period 
show a great deal of variety in size and shape 
in the Russell area. Some are less than an inch 
long; others surpass three inches. There were 
also many other Late Archaic artifacts discov- 
ered including a full-grooved ax found at 
Harper's Ferry in Elbert County, Georgia. 
The groove was chiseled towards the rear of 
the stone ax to help hold the wooden handle in 

At Rucker's Bottom, repeatedly occupied 
for short stays, Late Archaic inhabitants used 
much bigger, boulder- sized, pitted rocks than 
before. They continued to grind plant foods on 
small, pitted cobbles 
that they discarded 
when they moved. 
But they also used 
the bigger, pitted 
tools, which became 
site furniture of a sort 
that they left behind 
and reused on succes- 
sive visits. The boul- 
ders' size provided 
more room for grind- 
ing the increasingly 
important plant 
foods. Another inter- Figure39: ALateArchaic 
esting Late Archaic stone ax. 


Figure 40: Late Archaic people used spearpoints of varying shapes, sizes, and rock types. 

discovery came in the form of teeth detected at 
Gregg Shoals, which turned out to be canine, 
the first proof that dogs were part of local 
prehistoric people's lives. Scientists estimate 
the animal weighed between 25 and 30 
pounds. The only sign of possible shellfish use 
for the period in the Russell area was also 
found at Gregg Shoals. But the evidence was 
scant— only one mussel shell. There were no 
mounds of discarded shells like those found 
further to the south. 

By 1000 B.C. , the huge assemblies at places 
like Stallings Island for feasting on freshwater 
mollusks were becoming a thing of the past. 
Possibly a change in the climate led to their 
end. Some scientists say this was a time when 
glaciers advanced slightly and sea levels fell a 
few feet, not as far as during the Ice Age, but 
enough, perhaps, to alter the availability of 
shellfish along inland rivers and to diminish 
the run of migratory fish. 

Some estimate that only several thousand 
people lived in Georgia at the time. While 
their numbers perhaps weren't huge, they 
apparently spent much of their time near big 
rivers, depending on ten percent of the land. 
Archeologist Glen Hanson suggests that popu- 
lation expansion put too much pressure on re- 

sources, causing the Late Archaic system to 
collapse. In some parts of the East, famine, 
increased territorial friction, and warfare 
possibly dominated existence. Clearly there 
was unrest in some places because period hu- 
man burials in Indiana and Kentucky have 
revealed spearpoints inside skeletons. 

The beginnings for the next cultural tradi- 
tion, the Woodland period, actually started 
before the decline of the Late Archaic era with 
the growing dependence on plant foods. Peo- 
ple were eating more and more seeds from 
wild plants, and couldn't leave such a vital 
foodstuff to chance alone. Late Archaic people 
learned to save some seeds, plant them, then 
protect the resulting vegetation until it also 
yielded something good to eat. The concept of 
domesticating corn, beans, and possibly other 
plants eventually filtered into eastern North 
America from Mexico. 

Tending plants became widespread by the 
Woodland period, and there were also other 
significant changes. Potters, for instance, grew 
markedly in their talents. But especially fasci- 
nating was the emergence of a mysterious, 
sometimes eerie ceremonialism that left inex- 
plicable marks on the landscape that last to 
this day. 


Figure 41: White-tailed deer were important to early people. Hunted for food, their hides were worn as clothing; their 
bones carved into pins and awLs; their antlers made into tools. 


Chapter 7: Grains of Pollen, Mounds of Earth 

1000 B.C. tOA.D. 900 

The Woodland Era 

Experience taught the doe to be cautious 
when she browsed the tender shoots of grass 
and plants. At any moment, what appeared to 
be a safe place free of predators could trans- 
form into a dangerous trap. She had success- 
fully eluded capture before by leaping high 
and fast out of reach, her white tail raised like 
a warning flag to any other deer nearby. Few 
creatures could match her speed, which was 
her best defense. Even the wily human hunt- 
ers, who sometimes disguised themselves in 
the skins of slain deer, were no match for the 
doe when she ran. Their spears fell ineffectu- 
ally into the bushes far behind her while she 
raced to the sanctuary of deep woods. 

During this sunset graze, the doe paused 
often to raise her head and listen, but heard 
only the birds and usual sounds. A low whistle 
like the wind caught her attention too late. A 
deadly blow struck her in the chest, but still 
she couldn't see where the danger came from, 
because this time, the hunter was neither close 
nor using a spear. The fatal weapon was an 
arrow unleashed from a hiding place many 
yards away. 

The pivotal invention of the bow and arrow 
came during the Woodland tradition, which 
lasted from 1000 B.C. to a.d. 900. This 
breakthrough— which probably took place 
towards the end of the period, though some 
think it happened much earlier— gave hunters 
invaluable room between themselves and their 
prey, increasing their success considerably. 

Initially, Woodland hunters used weapons 
tipped with stones in the shape of isosceles 
triangles with two equal sides and no stems. 
Called Yadkin Triangulars, the projectiles are 

considered to be the first arrowheads by some 
experts, while the majority classifies them as 
spearpoints. Marked indentions on the base of 
many Yadkin Triangulars make them resemble 
miniature boomerangs. Ninety percent of the 
Yadkins found in the reservoir area were made 
of quartz, indicating hunters didn't range far 
to obtain the rocks to make them. 

Altered weapons were only one of many 
differences separating the approximately 2,000 
years of the Woodland culture from the Archa- 
ic period. Some changes were logical progres- 
sions from earlier customs, but other develop- 
ments are shrouded in a mystery that may 
never be explained. 

Growing appetites for plant foods, created 
by increasing populations and the need to 
exploit all available food, led to gardens. Big- 
faced sunflowers were among the original 
favorites for cultivation. Hardy and prolific, 
the sunflower yields many nutritious seeds, 
which early people probably crushed for 
cooking oil. They also grew squash. Like the 
sunflower, squash produces abundantly with 
little human effort. Prehistoric gardeners also 
likely tended plants that today are considered 
weeds, including sumpweed and chenopodium, 
a plant in the same family as spinach and 

Knowledge of ancient Southeastern agricul- 
ture comes from analysis of recovered seeds 
and fossilized pollen. Sunflower and sump- 
weed seeds, for example, collected from 
various sites from the Woodland period, tend 
to be bigger than wild seeds, and uniform in 
size, indicating prehistoric growers purposely 
saved them for their superiority and replanted 
them. In fact, prehistoric sumpweed seeds are 


two to three times bigger than those of today, 
suggesting that without human intervention the 
larger-seeded plants died out. 

While any harvest would have been a 
welcome addition to a family's food store, 
Woodland people were probably far from 
reliant on cultivation. They continued to 
forage among the wild plants and nuts still 
widely available, as well as to depend on the 
animals hunters could kill. 

But researchers in the Russell Reservoir 
area did uncover definitive evidence that 
people during this time grew their own food. 
For example, in their study of soils at a Late 
Woodland site called Simpson's Field in 
Anderson County, South Carolina, archeolo- 
gists uncovered a piece of squash rind and two 
grains of fossilized pollen suspected to be 
from squash plants— persuasive evidence of 
agriculture. Fossilized pollen from sunflowers 
and chenopodium also surfaced, although 
researchers couldn't be certain that these 
resulted from cultivation. Nor could they be 
sure if a single, badly corroded grain of pollen 
came from corn. (Corn didn't really gain 
importance until the waning years of the 
Woodland tradition.) Signs of other possible 
foods included shells from white walnut, 
hickory, and acorn, and seeds from maypop, 
persimmon, and grape. 

The people of Simpson's Field left a clearer 
indication of another innovation associated 
with food— an oven so deep in the ground that 
an average-sized woman could stand inside 
and have only her head be visible. A dark 
stain of charcoal alerted searchers to the 
oven's existence. The oven, they estimated, 
was about five feet wide and four-and-a-half 
feet deep. Dean Wood, who directed the 
excavation, speculates, based on later recorded 
incidences, that to use the oven, people lay- 
ered wood generously in the pit, set it afire, 
then tended the blaze until the flames reduced 
to red-hot coals. They put rocks heated in a 
fire above ground into the pit next, to radiate 
more heat. Then they added moistened leaves 
and grasses, and on top of them placed the 

Figure 42: Yadkin Triangulars were used in both the early 
and middle years of the Woodland cultural era. 

meat. They then carefully covered the meat 
with more insulating vegetation. 

The last layer they added was dirt, heaped 
on until the entire pit was covered, trapping 
the considerable heat generated by the coals 
and rocks. Sometime later, they removed the 
dirt and leaves and ate the now-baked food. 

Researchers concluded that the oven was 
much used because charcoal, ash, and clay had 
accumulated over a foot thick in the bottom. 
Three more ovens, none as deep as the first, 
were also discovered nearby, suggesting either 
large-scale communal cooking or perhaps one 
family digging different ovens over time. 

The Simpson's Field site, located on a 
terrace about 130 yards from the Savannah 
River, is also thought to reflect another new 
development— a small village of some dura- 
tion. One-hundred-nine postmolds, most of 
them probably from the Woodland years, were 
found. The multitude of stains, combined with 
other findings, signaled that dwellings once 

Although not firmly proven, Woodland 
shelters appear to have been intended to last a 
good while, in contrast to earlier, perhaps less 
permanent, Archaic structures. Frames for 
houses were still formed with upright tree 


posts arranged in an oval or circle, but were 
now bolstered with cross beams or rafters. 
And the posts no longer curved inward at the 
center, but stood upright to form walls. Cross 
beams supported a sturdier, cone-shaped roof, 
while the whole structure was covered with 
protective bark or thatched grass. 

Further indications that people once lived 
for a year or even several years at Simpson's 
Field came with the unearthing of two human 
burials, the oldest discovered in the Russell 
studies. Decomposition was so extensive that 
researchers could determine only that one was 
a child about seven and the other an adult. 
Both were found near the outline of a possible 

The graves showed no sign of the funeral 
ceremonialism that often marks Woodland 
burials, and experts are unsure why. In fact, 
the reservoir studies curiously yielded little 
evidence that residents were affected by many 
of the startling changes in human behavior tak- 

ing place nearby and across the country. 

In Louisiana, for example, at Poverty 
Point, Late Archaic people began to create 
some of the first earthen mounds. Using only 
baskets, they carried tons of dirt, which they 
steadily unloaded until the accumulation 
formed sizable hills, up to 70 feet tall. 

Besides mounds, the Louisiana site features 
dirt formed into six octagon-shaped ridges 
encircling an area about two-thirds of a mile 
wide. Prehistoric people built their houses atop 
the ridges, and cut pathways through the 
ground below to create an orderly pattern like 
the rays of the sun. 

Mounds were built extensively throughout 
the eastern United States during the Woodland 
period. Some were topped with religious 
temples; others entombed the remains of the 
dead; while the purposes of still other mounds 
are lost. 

Cone-shaped mounds were erected in south- 
ern Ohio by participants of the Adena culture 


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Figure 44: A possible Woodland house and one from a later era are shown in a drawing of Simpson's Field. Two 
Woodland burials, numbered 3 and 4, were found, along with two others from a later time. 

that began about 500 B.C. These mounds 
revealed burials with stone tablets carved with 
elaborate drawings of predatory birds and geo- 
metric designs. Fragments of suspected animal 
masks were also found in the graves. 

Some of the Woodland dead in Ohio were 
interred in log tombs; others were placed in 
buildings that were likely intentionally burned; 
and still other corpses were burned in clay 
basin crematories dug in the ground. 

The Adena culture, which lasted 300 to 500 
years, was eventually overshadowed by a 
much farther-reaching development called 
Hopewell. The Hopewellian culture, which 
began in Ohio and Illinois between 100 B.C. 
and A.D. 100, perhaps grew out of the Adena 
culture or merged with it. Before declining 
sometime between a.d. 400 and 500, its 
influence reached across many thousands of 
miles, including the Southeast. 

Earthworks also marked the Hopewell 

phenomenon. Followers in the Midwest built 
ridges, sometimes 12 feet tall, shaped into 
expansive squares, circles, and octagons that 
could enclose as much as 80 acres. Their dead 
were often accompanied by objects that must 
have held great value for the people who 
buried them. Bear teeth and glass-like obsidian 
from the Rocky Mountains, shark teeth and 
seashells from the coast of the Gulf of Mexi- 
co, and copper, probably mined near the Great 
Lakes, were all formed into grave goods. The 
people who lived in the Midwest must have 
traded with others for these materials, which 
to them must have been rare. During the 
exchanges, they apparently imparted the tenets 
of their burgeoning ceremonialism. 

Although the mound building and ceremoni- 
alism associated with Hopewell became wide- 
spread, reaching into parts of the Southeast, 
the foundation of the beliefs is unknown. How 
individuals who once lived a vigorous, nomad- 


ic life, found time to build such enormous 
mounds is a point of conflict. Some contend 
that agriculture provided ready food, giving 
people more free time; but others insist that 
farming was only moderately important. They 
argue instead that people learned to store food 
effectively, and that ample resources allowed 
more hours for other activities. 

There were probably religious leaders or 
priests in the Woodland era responsible for 
properly shepherding the spiritual interests of 
both the living and the dead. The sites where 
they performed these functions became cere- 
monial centers. Trade of rare materials for 
spiritual purposes was likely among the cen- 
ters, but it's possible that 
everyday staples were not 
exchanged, according to 
some experts. 

In southwest Georgia, 
such a ceremonial focal 
point developed at Mande- 
ville near the Chattahoo- 
chee River. A flat-topped 
mound which once held a 
temple and a cone-shaped 
burial mound attest to the 
strong Hopewell influence 
at Mandeville. 

Further north in a 
western corner of Georgia 
near Chattanooga, Tennes- 
see, a series of small, limestone and earthen 
burial mounds at a site called Tunacunnhee 
similarly reflect the ritualism. Grave goods at 
both places resemble the items favored in the 
Midwest. Among the objects found were 
copper panpipes, not unlike the musical wind 
instruments depicted in ancient Greek art. The 
panpipes have several short, hollow tubes of 
varying lengths connected in a row. Platform 
smoking pipes were also discovered that rest 
upright on squat, rectangular bases, with the 
pipe bowls sometimes sculptured into animal 
shapes. Cut mica and prismatic blades also 
were uncovered. At Mandeville, copper beads 
and a clay figurine of a woman were found. 

Figure 45: Platform pipes like this one from the 
Tunacunnhee site in northwest Georgia were common 
during the Woodland period. 

Ear adornments, called earspools, found at 
both sites indicate what must have been an 
excruciatingly painful practice of decorating 
the human body. To wear them, the earlobes 
were cut open and stretched widely to accom- 
modate wood, stone, or copper ornaments 
shaped like thread spools. Once inserted, the 
spools likely became permanent, with skin 
growing over them, just as a pierced ear today 
will heal to cover the incision. 

The major Southeastern Hopewell sites 
stretched in a broad arc around the Russell 
Reservoir area, from Mandeville in southwest 
Georgia, into eastern Tennessee and western 
North Carolina. Yet, the enigmatic rites that 
were affecting so many 
people over such a wide 
area apparently exerted 
little, if any, influence 
within the study bound- 

There were intimations, 
however, that people 
farther south along the 
Savannah River were 
practicing ceremonialism. 
Pottery, some painted red, 
thought to reflect ritualis- 
tic use, and decorated 
similarly to ceramics 
found at Hopewellian 
ceremonial centers else- 
where in the East, was discovered on the 
Savannah River Site near present-day Aiken, 
South Carolina, at the G.S. Lewis archeologi- 
cal site. 

Other curiosities of the Woodland era again 
involved accumulating staggering amounts of 
earth and other materials to form well-defined 
shapes, often in the forms of animals. Some of 
these conceptions reveal their designs only 
through an aerial view, often impossible for 
their builders to achieve without climbing tall 
trees. But erect them they did, even though 
they would have had difficulty seeing the full 
extent of their accomplishments. 

In Putnam County in central Georgia, for 


\. Big Generostee Creek 

Santt» RideeV. 

xVa Field 

^^ 9EB17A 




Clyde GnHey\ 



"-^ucker'i Bottom 

^Harprr'B Be 

J 00 

CaJhawi FaJli 

Middtewi > ,'"^~ 


Paria Uland South 

Rocky River 



Map 9: Important Woodland archeological sites in the Southeast include Tunaeunnhee and Mandeville in north and 
south Georgia. Key Woodland sites in the Russell Project Area are shown in the insert. 


example, thousands of stones are piled into the 
shape of a gigantic bird. Popularly known as 
Rock Eagle, the formation might represent a 
buzzard or perhaps a mythical bird. A second 
formation, quite similar to Rock Eagle, exists 
nearby in the same county, but is less well 
known. And in southern Ohio, a colossal 
serpent of dirt averages 20 feet wide and five 
feet high and stretches 730 feet long. The 
formation has intrigued many who have flown 
over the land and seen its curling shape. 

Understandably, these and other unusual 
relics have roused far-fetched speculation and 
served as the basis for legends. Rocks ar- 
ranged in a low wall near the top of a moun- 
tain in north Georgia, for instance, are be- 
lieved by some to be the handiwork, not of 
prehistoric Indians, but of a prince of Wales. 
Prince Medoc, according to the tale, was an 
experienced sailor who abandoned his native 
land because he was disgusted by infighting 
over the throne among his relatives. He sailed 
to the Gulf of Mexico and landed near Mobile, 
Alabama, from where he and his followers 
headed inland, ultimately reaching Georgia. 
An attack by natives lead the prince and his 
men to build the stone "fort" atop the moun- 
tain. When they lost the battle, supposedly he 
and his followers fled north toward Indiana. 

While there may indeed have been a Prince 
Medoc, his disappearance from the British 
Isles in 1169 apparently came hundreds of 
years after the erection of the rock structure at 
Fort Mountain. Furthermore, the wall, only a 
few feet tall at its highest point, would have 
been an ineffective defense. And there is no 
archeological record in the Southeast indicat- 
ing that European explorers arrived in the area 
before the Spanish did in the 1500's. More 
likely, Woodland people performed rituals at 
the mountain wall and at other similar places 
in the East. 

If they were removed from their contemp- 
oraries' religious customs, the Woodland era 
residents of the Russell area did see many 
changes. At the beginning of the period, in 
about 1000 B.C., what the residents apparently 

didn't do was as notable as what they did. 
Early Woodland people, for example, ceased 
almost all trade and travel to other regions, 
and used local quartz for their tools, rather 
than imported minerals. They probably were 
fairly mobile within the reservoir area, 
though, because no heavy stains or major 
storage pits were found to indicate long-term 

Population in the area possibly declined 
during the Early Woodland era, with people 
moving away to an, as yet, undetermined 
region. But while fewer people may have lived 
within the study boundaries, numbers were 
swelling along the Atlantic coast where a new 
type of ceramics called Refuge pottery 
emerged. Artists there made tooth-like projec- 
tions on the sides of vessels and impressed 
designs of parallel lines in the clay. Many 
authorities think that even earlier, during the 
Late Archaic era, coastal dwellers began 
shaping a culture that became distinctly differ- 
ent from the ways of people in the Piedmont. 

Within the reservoir boundaries, many 
years passed from pottery's first use in the 
Late Archaic period well into the Woodland 
years before it become essential to daily life. 
While people commonly made clay wares, 
they were not dependent on them until much 

Yet, the stylistic techniques potters used 
continued to transform. The simple punch-and- 
drag motifs made with a sharp stick, favored 
by Archaic potters, gave way to far more 
elaborate decorations. By 600 B.C., and per- 
haps even earlier, ceramists used fabric 
wrapped around sticks and paddles to imprint 
designs in clay. Their ingenuity and dexterity 
in weaving these fabrics were considerable 
because they used only plant fibers, and fin- 
gers were likely their only looms. 

None of the fabrics were found in the 
Russell excavations, probably because of their 
susceptibility to decay. But even earlier weav- 
ings have been found in Archaic human buri- 
als in Florida at the Windover bog. And in 
Salt Cave in Kentucky, woven slippers from 


the Woodland period escaped deterioration. 

Some 50 different early Woodland era 
locations within the reservoir area disclosed 
pottery decorated with fabric impressions 
called Dunlap. (Archeologists name ceramics 
based on the tempering and texture of the 
paste, the designs, and geographical locations 
where they are found.) Other pottery uncov- 
ered in the reservoir area may have achieved 
a fabric-impressed look by being formed 
inside a basket. Prehistoric basketry from the 
era has been found in the eastern United 
States, at Salt Cave in Kentucky, for example, 
but none appeared in the reservoir studies. 
That doesn't rule out its existence, however. 
The local people probably weaved baskets and 
possibly also carved intricate wood art. 
Wood, like baskets and fabric, rarely sur- 
mounts damaging environmental effects over 
thousands of years. Carvings, however, have 
been found in other areas in the East, so 
again, a precedent exists. 

By the middle Woodland years of 300 B.C. 
to A.D. 500, population possibly grew sub- 
stantially near the upper Savannah River. But 
mobility among the inhabitants was still 
common, possibly dictated by seasonally- 
available food at different locations. 

Pottery also became more important. 
Potters used coarse sand and crushed rock, 
called grit, to temper the clay in wares known 
as Deptford. Some Deptford pots were plain. 
Others were embellished with parallel lines 
called simple stamping, or with check stamp- 
ing resembling tiny waffles. Both of these 
distinctive patterns were first carved in paddles 
then pushed into the clay. 

Gradually, the preference potters showed 
for rough tempering grit declined and they 
used increasingly finer sand. The potters' 
skills were also refined; some grew so adept at 
smoothing the clay and at using such minute 
particles of sand that the tempering is practi- 
cally invisible. These later efforts, named 
Cartersville pottery, initially were plain or 
bore the same lines and checks as the Deptford 
styles. But for some reason, the tiny checks 


Figure 46: Fabric marked pottery appeared during the early 
Woodland era. The designs were possibly made with baskets or 
woven fabric. 

fell out of favor, until, by the end of the 
middle Woodland and into the late Woodland 
era, the only decorations on Cartersville 
pottery were the stamped parallel lines and a 
brushed look created by a new method. To 
create this newest look, the potter ran strands 
of grass or straw across the damp pot. Reser- 
voir area potters may have also used fibers 
wrapped around paddles, which they pressed 
gently into the vessels, to create the brushed 

Researchers found much persuasive data 
suggesting housing in spots where Cartersville 
pottery surfaced. At Harper's Bottom in Elbert 
County, for example, archeologists detected 


Where Do Theories Come From? 

How do archeologists develop theories about human settlement patterns and social systems? There are 
many different ways. For example, when any artifact is found, its location and what is nearby— its 
context— are noted. Suppose a number of sherds are found representing many large jars. This suggests a spot 
that may have been used for storing food. Numerous plant remains among the sherds strengthen this 
hypothesis. If signs of hearths, animal remains, and sherds from other ceramic vessels blackened with soot 
are also found, the site was probably used for cooking, and the theory that the jars were for storage is further 

When many spearpoints and stone scrapers are found associated with quantities of animal bones, but 
without other artifacts, a camp where game was butchered is suspected. If a number of the bones are from 
young animals, this may mean the camp was occupied after the conclusion of mating season, in spring or early 
summer. By comparing different sites, determining the seasons they were used, and whether they were the 
scene of many different activities or only a primary one, ideas form about an entire social system. 

Ethnoarcheology, the study of contemporary aboriginal societies, also helps scientists understand the past. 
Lewis Binford of Southern Methodist University, for instance, in his research about hunter-gatherers of the 
twentieth century, learned that some groups changed camps often. They tended to make tools quickly from 
easily available rock and abandoned those tools after brief use, with little emphasis on resharpening them. In 
contrast, other contemporary hunter-gatherers remained in basecamps for long periods. Because they often sent 
task groups great distances away from the basecamp to hunt or to collect other resources, they tended to use 
larger tools more easily resharpened. They were also prone to choose better stone to make their tools. Such 
findings about people of today help archeologists draw useful parallels with prehistoric people. 

The scientific method of hypothesizing, then rigorously testing theories is also important. A researcher 
might make a knife similar to how he theorizes prehistoric people made theirs, then actually use the knife in 
ways he surmises they might have. Analyzing the effect of the use on the knife blade, the archeologist looks 
for microscopic scars caused by cutting different kinds of materials. Another archeologist might build a hut 
similar to a prehistoric one, then burn it down to study what evidence might remain. 

Styles of arrowheads, ceramics, and other prehistoric items changed from period to period, just as styles 
vary today. One of the first steps in analyzing any particular site involves carefully tallying and sorting 
artifacts. This process helps archeologists compare one site with another by noting the percentages of different 
types of artifacts. At one site, an archeologist discovers considerable amounts of pottery painted red. He also 
finds fairly small amounts of highly polished pottery. At a camp not far away, he locates the same kinds of 
pottery, but the percentages are reversed. At the second site, there is much highly polished pottery but little 
pottery painted red. Absent any other information, the archeologist might theorize that people at these two 
spots once traded with each other, and that the two groups each specialized in making one type of pottery. 
But there are other possibilities. For example, the same basic group of people may have lived at both sites. 
While they stayed at one spot, possibly they preferred making one type of the pottery. By the time they 
migrated to the second camp, their ceramic preferences had changed. 

In developing theories, then, archeologists must examine many different bits of information to piece 
together extremely complex puzzles. 

several signs of fired clay they thought once 
covered shelters. The dwellings were tempo- 
rary, but their builders apparently took time to 
mix the clay, grass, and water known as daub 
to cover them. 

Sherds uncovered nearby once formed 
globe-shaped, flat-bottomed jars that stood on 
four clay feet. There were stamped parallel 
line decorations over the bottom two thirds of 

the jars and on the jar feet. 

More pieces of the footed pots appeared at 
the Rocky River site in Abbeville County, 
South Carolina, excavated by Andrea Lee 
Novick and Charles Cantley. At the Rocky 
River site, the archeologists pinpointed where 
a middle Woodland house may have once 
burned. What alerted them to the possibility 
was a dark stain of fired clay, ash, and char- 


coal on a bluff overlooking the river. Soil 
disturbances caused by trees, along with ero- 
sion, prevented certainty about the size of the 
shelter, but the charred earth measured about 
three by five-and-a-half yards. 

Archeologists also found signs of several 
other possible shelters at Rucker's Bottom. 
Postmolds for one suspected house formed an 
oval about 11 yards across at the widest 
points. Other stains near the center of the oval 
indicated there were once support poles for 
rafters and the roof, making for a sturdy 
structure. A jumble of postmolds near the oval 
may have been the remnants of an entrance or 
perhaps a storage place. 

Near the house were several big pits, 
presumably used for storage. There was also 
a pile of shells, and by analyzing them, scien- 
tists determined that the shellfish were har- 
vested in late fall or spring. That finding, 
along with the sturdiness of the shelter, sug- 

gested that Ruck- 
er's Bottom possi- 
bly served as a 
winter camp. 

The presence 
of 2,000 Carters- 
ville sherds at 
Rucker's Bottom 
strengthened a 
judgment that the 
site hosted one or 
more villages 
between a.d. 300 
and a.d. 1000. 

Inhabitants appear to have occupied Rucker's 
Bottom at the same time others were living at 
Simpson's Field, just ten miles away, but that 
isn't certain. 

Interestingly, potters at the two sites used 
different designs. At Simpson's Field, for 
instance, the complex patterns of teardrops, 

Figure 47: Pieces of four-footed 
jars once shaped like this were 
found at Harper's Bottom and 
Rocky River excavations. 

Archaic Block Features 




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Rucker's Bottom Site (9EB91) 

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Figure 48: Signs of a probahle Woodland era structure were found at Rucker's Bottom, a site occupied during many 
different prehistoric periods. The drawing details this structure and other features. 


Figure 49: Cartersville designs used in the Russell area included: A-G, J & K, check stamped; H, I, L & M, plain; and 
N-U, simple stamped. J, K, R & S are from four-footed pots or tetrapods. 


1 2 


Figure 50: These complicated stamped sherds were found at Simpson's Field, about ten miles from Rucker's 
Bottom, where potters tended to create simpler designs. 

ovals, and rectangles dominated, complex 
motifs called Swift Creek and Napier. Potters 
at Simpson's Field carved these intricate 
patterns into wood paddles, then stamped them 
into the wet clay. They used no simple stamp- 
ing of parallel lines, which was the preferred 
method nearby at Rucker's Bottom. In con- 
trast, at Rucker's Bottom, potters used the 
more complicated motifs only sparingly. 

Such differences of ceramic styles found 
within a short distance trigger many questions. 
Were the people of Simpson's Field immi- 
grants from central or western Georgia where 
complex designs were much more prevalent 
and associated with ceremonial centers and 
trade? Or were they simply innovators of long- 
standing residence in the area, more open to 
change than the people at Rucker's Bottom? 

Whatever their dissimilarities, if the two 
groups occupied their respective villages at the 
same time during the late Woodland years, 
they apparently coexisted peacefully because 
no signs of fortifications or violence surfaced 
at either place. 

The complex pottery decorations of Simp- 
son's Field have been widely associated with 
the last 300 years of the Woodland period in 
north Georgia. But, according to David An- 
derson, the Russell studies showed that the 
simple stamped designs were also possibly 
made at the same time in north Georgia, and 
throughout wide stretches of South Carolina. 

Researchers detected over 1,500 sherds at 
Simpson's Field, pieces from about 90 ceramic 
vessels which were scattered throughout the 
site. The wide-spread distribution of pottery 









Figure 51: Swift Creek potters often duplicated simple design elements, shown in the top of this drawing, to create 
the complex decorations depicted at the bottom. 


contributed to the view among archeologists 
that the spot was continuously occupied for 
awhile, not revisited over hundreds of years. 
Further supporting their conclusion were 
assorted storage pits spread widely over the 
area, suggesting that the site was once a vil- 

Woodland residents, like earlier Archaic 
people, dug shallow, basin-shaped holes to 
cache food. But they also dug much deeper 
pits, sometimes almost four feet wide and two 
feet deep. These pits, which were bell-shaped, 
bigger at the base than at the top, were used to 
store seeds and nuts and perhaps other foods. 
Such storage provided a way to tide hungry 
people over lean hunting and gathering times. 
Occasionally, a pit became a garbage dump, 
which was gradually filled in over time. 

Research at Simpson's Field and Rucker's 
Bottom, along with studies at a small settle- 
ment on the Oconee River nearby, and anoth- 
er, bigger excavation called the Six Flags site, 
show that Piedmont residents adopted village 
life during the Woodland years. The Six Flags 
site (technically known as 9FU14), which is 

near Atlanta, has revealed the existence of at 
least 20 houses and several communal build- 

The Russell studies further helped pinpoint 
other aspects of the Woodland lifestyle. Re- 
searchers learned that people in the area 
moved closer to the Savannah River towards 
the end of the period, and spent much less 
time camped on ridges or near creeks in the 
uplands. Teresa Rudolph concluded from 
artifact analysis that camps or villages were 
established at junctures of tributaries and the 
Savannah River, and on islands in the river. 
The narrowness of the Savannah River valley, 
she concluded, made the walk fairly easy from 
Woodland camps to upland resources. 

In contrast, other Woodland people living 
not far away within the Coastal Plain spent 
more time away from major rivers than be- 
fore. Some coastal people also engaged in 
burial mound building, interring their dead in 
sand hills several feet high. Grave goods along 
the coast were modest compared to the lavish 
objects buried elsewhere at ceremonial centers, 
perhaps a signal of more egalitarian societies. 

Adding An Artist's Touch 

A potter created designs at Simpson's Field by first carving them into a wood paddle. She might etch 
rows of straight lines, or carve rectangles, chevrons, or squares. Depending on how she pressed a paddle 
with a square pattern into wet clay, whether she held the paddle straight up or at an angle, determined 
whether the decorations looked like squares or diamonds. Potters also carved curved lines, teardrops, 
concentric circles, and ovals, and occasionally filled in the ovals and teardrops with lines resembling 

Potters also made different types of containers. All bowls had flat bottoms, but there were some with 
fairly straight sides and others with sides curving inward at the rims. There were also jars, which were 
taller than bowls. Many jars had straight sides perpendicular to the ground; others had sides that bulged 
outward, forming shoulders. Wet clay tops of jars and bowls were often folded downward, usually outward, 
to thicken the rims. But not all rims were folded and thickened; some were flared to one side. 

Centuries later, by using measuring rings of different diameters, experts were able to learn, by 
examining only clay fragments, how wide pots once were. Some sherds came from big bowls with openings 
at the top as wide as 16 inches, while a few sherds were from much smaller containers. Several clay bottles 
were less than four inches across the top. The majority of fragments, however, represented jars and bowls 
that were generally of one or two sizes. The smaller containers' openings averaged between six and eight 
inches across, while the bigger ones had openings between 12 and 14 inches wide. The smaller vessels 
were possibly used to cook for individuals and to serve food prepared in the bigger pots. The largest pots 
were likely used to cook for groups and for storage. 


Figure 52: A backhoe operator empties dirt into a mechanical sifting screen, which allows artifacts and 
other objects to be separated for examination. 

Burials of female remains predominated in 
sand mounds on St. Catherine's Island off the 
Georgia coast, prompting David Thomas and 
Clark Larsen to speculate that women were 
possibly the leaders there. 

There were implications, too, that some 
coastal people may not have buried their dead 
immediately. Instead, they may have kept 
corpses in charnel houses until decomposition 
was well advanced, then buried the skeletons. 
They may have also delayed interment of those 
who died while they were away on seasonal 
stays in the backcountry. Perhaps the survi- 
vors protected the remains until they could be 
returned to the coast for burial in the sand 

Away from the coast, in southwest Georgia 
not far from the ceremonial center of Mande- 
ville, another ritualistic place developed near 
the end of the Woodland period. Called Kolo- 
moki, the site reflects ceremonialism practiced 
along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Kolo- 
moki had two burial mounds, as well as anoth- 

er mound, 56 feet tall, that likely held a tem- 
ple. Clay animal sculptures there were painted 
red, denoting ritualistic use. 

Experts think the people of Kolomoki may 
have practiced a particularly harsh ritual. 
When a revered leader died, they may have 
killed the deceased's close family members 
and servants and buried them with him. 

Intriguing ceremonial practices continued 
after the Woodland era ended, but the ritual- 
ism that dominated at the mound centers gave 
way to a more secular rule. In the final, 
prehistoric period in the region, called the 
Mississippian era, inhabitants were ruled by 
chiefs, some of whom were quite powerful, 
holding sway over miles of territory. Missis- 
sippian people became more dependent on 
agriculture, created intricate art, and frequent- 
ly lived in larger, more permanent towns 
protected from attack by defensive ditches and 
fences. These were the people who made first 
contact with Europeans, often with disastrous 


Figure 53: The last Southeastern prehistoric people sometimes held important ceremonies in earthlodges. Ocmulgee 
National Monument in central Georgia recreates such an earthlodge gathering. 


Chapter 8: Ceremony in Life and Death 

a.d. 900 to 1300 
The Mississippian Era 

The cryptic ritualism and earthworks of 
Woodland people likely influenced followers 
of the Mississippian tradition, which came 
next. Lasting from approximately a.d. 900 to 
1650, this era marked the final stage in pre- 
historic, cultural development of Southeastern 

Distinct social strata arose, dominated by 
chiefs with considerable power. Art continued 
to be important, and much of it survived intact 
to confirm that Mississippian people had 
notably refined their skills in carving and other 
art forms. The bench mark of Mississippian 
societies, however, was farming. The imper- 
manent and seemingly erratic plant tending 
suggested in the Woodland years was replaced 
by long-term, organized agriculture. Cultiva- 
tion of the rich bottomlands adjoining rivers 
helped to feed burgeoning populations grouped 
in permanent communities. 

Mississippian societies emerged across wide 
areas of the Eastern Woodlands between about 
A.D. 700 and A.D. 1000, with some of the 
earliest occurring in the rich environment of 
the Mississippi River valley between present- 
day St. Louis, Missouri, and Memphis, Ten- 
nessee. Eventually, the culture reached as far 
north as Wisconsin, west into Oklahoma and 
Texas, and south into Florida. 

Building dirt mounds, often of astonishing 
proportions, continued and greatly intensified. 
At Cahokia, in southern Illinois at the intersec- 
tion of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, 
prehistoric people built more than 100 
mounds, including one 100 feet high. Rising 
like pyramids, the mounds were flattened on 
top to accommodate buildings for residential 
and ceremonial uses. Cahokia, in its heyday, 
must have bustled like a small city, with 5,000 

to 10,000 people living within its five-and-a- 
half square miles. 

Such a dense population center was a 
radical change from the widely-dispersed, 
small settlements that existed before, and there 
are lingering signs that not everybody adapted 
easily to the transition taking place in the 
Mississippian era. Protective palisades around 
villages were common, doubtlessly to keep out 
enemies in the warfare that occurred. Some- 
times followers of the new order may have 
forced their way into territories where people 
still practiced the Woodland customs depen- 
dent on hunting and gathering food. For those 
continuing to embrace Woodland practices, the 
concept of close quarters with so many others 
under the dominion of a Mississippian chief 
may have been hard to accept. 

Warfare also increased because growing 
populations along key rivers led to more 
competition for limited resources, and because 
Mississippian political organization fostered 
competition and conflict. But coercion and 
conflict didn't always accompany the change 
to the Mississippian tradition. In the Russell 
area, at least in the beginning, the Mississippi- 
an tradition evolved peacefully from the ves- 
tiges of the old Woodland ways. Few Missis- 
sippian artifacts, only a handful of sherds, 
were found that preceded the ceramics dated to 
A.D. 1100 uncovered at a site called Clyde 
Gully. This Georgia excavation possibly 
represented a single Mississippian village or 
several smaller settlements occupied over the 
years. Ann Tippitt and William Marquardt 
found 8,300 pottery fragments at Clyde Gully, 
as well as the outline of a structure. The 
Mississippian potters who once lived there 
stamped some of the wares with nested trian- 


Map 10: Important Mississippian archeological sites in the Southeast are shown, including those excavated in the 
Russell Reservoir Project Area (insert). 


gle designs, while other vessels were plain or 
highly polished. A clay duck head, once 
attached to the edge of a bowl, was emblemat- 
ic of the sorts of animal effigies crafted by 
artists of the era. Researchers also uncovered 
smoking pipe fragments and triangular arrow- 
heads characteristic of Mississippian hunters. 

The villagers possibly engaged in skin 
scratching (also called scarification) with 
sharpened rocks. Archeologists found sharp 
blades resembling small pieces of glass that 
were probably once inserted into split-stick 
handles. The blades were made by smashing 
crystal quartz rocks on an anvil of stone in a 
process first used in the area during the Early 
Archaic period and then abandoned for several 
thousand years. 

Early people sometimes scratched human 
skin for various reasons. Europeans noted 
when they arrived in the Southeast that Indian 
parents scratched their children to punish them 
and to alert others that the children had done 
wrong. Also, men about to engage in the "ball 

Figure 54: Nested triangle designs. 

game", similar to lacrosse, were scratched on 
their arms and chests before the contest. 
Tattooing was also popular among the Indians, 
with designs etched in the skin and pigments 
inserted to color them. But the crystal blades 
dug up at Clyde Gully could have served other 
purposes instead of skin scratching. They 
might have been used to clean fish, for exam- 
ple, or to carve shell or bone. 

Slow though it may have been to gain 
prominence along the upper Savannah River, 
the Mississippian culture took firm root be- 
tween a.d. 1200 and 1300, with the establish- 
ment of an important ceremonial mound com- 
plete with burials according to status, intricate 

Figure 55: A clay duck head once attached to a bowl was found in the Mississippian excavation at Clyde Gully. Period 
artists often crafted animal effigies in ceramics for decorations. 


human adornments, and elaborate soil layer- 

The ceremonial center, which relinquished 
numerous artifacts and scientific data, existed 
beside Beaverdam Creek in Elbert County, 
about a half-mile from where the creek flowed 
into the Savannah River. Built on ground 
slightly higher than the surrounding flood- 
plain, the mound was near a large, U-shaped 
bend in Beaverdam Creek, and on three sides 
faced the water. At the bottom of the bend, 
the creek was only about 100 yards south of 
the mound. 

Between the creek and the mound there 
probably was once an open plaza where males 
played athletic games such as chunkey before 
avid spectators. Chunkey, widely popular, 
involved rolling a round disk or chunkey stone 
on the ground. Contestants heaved long sticks 
or spears ahead of the moving stone, trying to 
anticipate where it would stop. The player 

whose spear ended up resting closest to the 
chunkey stone won. Several of the disks 
associated with the game were found at the 
creek site. 

Beaverdam Creek in dry weather is decep- 
tively shallow, only two feet deep and about 
16 yards wide. But during heavy rains, the 
lazy flow can become a furious torrent. In 
1908, for example, the creek swelled to 23 
feet high, flooded, and destroyed much in its 
path. Prehistoric people witnessed similar 
metamorphoses, but perhaps they, like inhabit- 
ants after them, complacently accepted the 
creek's usual calm as a permanent condition. 

Even before the mound builders began their 
work, the creek-side setting was occupied by 
Mississippian people who left artifacts, which 
archeologists later found buried in six to eight 
inches of dirt. These items were beneath 
remnants of the first ceremonial and political 
construction at the site, which was not a true 

Source: Rudolph and Halley 1985: 2 

Occupation Ar«a 

M .M 

3 I 



! 2 * ? i 

Extent of Mississippian occupation debris around the Beaverdam Creek Mound. 
Most materials were found over an approximately 15,000 square meter area 
stretching to the southeast of the mound. 

Figure 56: Beaverdam Creek Mound was built near a U-shaped bend in the creek, on ground slightly higher than the 
surrounding floodplain. Hatched lines in the site drawing denote the occupation area. 


X 1 14 

X1 13 -• 

X 1 1 2 — 

X 1 1 1 

XI 10 — 

X 109 

X 108 

X 107 

X 108 - - 


X 104 -- 

X 103 

X 102 

X 101 - - 


mound, but a small, square building 
with earth banked against the outside 
of its walls. 

To make this first shelter, builders 
first dug holes, most about a foot 
apart. They then inserted posts, up to 
six inches in diameter, into the holes 
to form walls. They fitted stouter 
posts, one to two feet in diameter, in 
the corners to strengthen the building, 
then tamped in clay at the base of the 
posts to hold them in place. 

The walls of this square building 
were about eight yards long. Dirt was 
piled up outside the building against 
all four walls, in some places at least 
two feet high. This embankment grad- 
ually sloped away from the walls, 
ending about six feet from the building 
at ground level. 

David Hally and James Rudolph, 
University of Georgia archeologists 
who excavated the site, speculated that 
the structure was not entirely covered 
by dirt, although Mississippian people 
elsewhere did erect such shelters. 
Among the better known ones is the 
circular earthlodge at Ocmulgee Na- 
tional Monument near Macon in cen- 
tral Georgia. In that partially recon- 
structed earthlodge, which is about 40 
feet in diameter, there are 50 seats along the 
walls. Three of the seats are on a raised plat- 
form shaped like a bird, where important per- 
sonages presided. 

The earthlodge at Beaverdam Creek was 
less ambitious in design, but was nonetheless 
a likely focal point for religious and political 
power for the people living nearby along the 
Savannah River. What were the rituals they 
enacted at this holy place? At least by the 
arrival of Europeans, Indians engaged in many 
festivals, often highlighted by dancing and 
feasting. Among the most important events for 
Southeastern Indians was the Green Corn 
Ceremony or Busk, a celebration of bountiful 
harvests. As farmers, Mississippian people 

"••• -:./ 


Excavated Floor 
Excavated FIN 





















Structure Al, an earth-embanked building elevated 10 cm 
above the premound midden, on a layer of aand. Structure Al 
waa dismantled and the area inside the embankment filled 
prior to the construction of Structure A2. 
(Source: Rudolph and Hally 1965: 80) 

Figure 57: The first structure built at the Beaverdam Creek site was 
square shaped with dirt banked against the walls. 

were heavily dependent upon successful crops 
to survive the winters. 

Anthropologist Charles Hudson of the 
University of Georgia describes the Green 
Corn Ceremony as a celebration of great 
importance, with the comparative significance 
of New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, Yom 
Kippur, Lent, and Mardi Gras combined. 

Observed near corn harvesting time, the 
event meant first fasting, then feasting, danc- 
ing, cleaning houses and public buildings, 
forgiving past injuries by others, and reignit- 
ing the sacred fire. The Green Corn Ceremony 
was also the occasion when leaders brought 
out cherished, ritualistic objects that remained 
hidden most of the year. 


To enter the first ceremonial shelter at 
Beaverdam Creek required walking though a 
passageway about four feet long cut through 
the dirt banks on the outside of the building. 
The opening faced southeast towards the 
creek. Because the ground naturally sloped, 
the floor inside the earthlodge had to be 
evened. To do this, the builders spread a layer 
of orange sand, in some places four inches 
thick, inside the lodge. Grayish-brown, sandy 
clay went on top of the orange sand to create 
the final floor. 

Because of destruction by looters, only a 
little of this original flooring remained by the 
time archeologists worked their way into 
remnants of the building. With care, they were 
able to uncover a few artifacts, including pot 
fragments, a concentration of fish scales and 
bones, and other food remains. These suggest- 

ed that someone, perhaps a religious leader or 
chief, lived there, in addition to the structure's 
use as the seat of authority. 

Archeologists were able to determine that 
the earthlodge functioned as a governmental 
and religious center because of its distinctive 
construction, so different from other nearby 
shelters. How much control the leader of this 
center exerted, cannot be precisely deter- 
mined, but it was probably substantial. Missis- 
sippian chiefs throughout the Southeast exacted 
tribute in food and labor from surrounding 
populations. Europeans, several centuries after 
the Beaverdam Creek site was occupied, wrote 
that the chiefs they encountered not only held 
political power, but were also credited with 
the ability to communicate with spirits. 

Anthropologist Charles Hudson thinks the 
role of Mississippian chief was probably often 

Figure 58: The Ocmulgee earthlodge was reconstructed near Macon, Georgia, to show how 
Mississippian people built a ceremonial center on the site. 


inherited, much like the thrones of European 
kings and queens and other dynasties world- 
wide. Among the Mississippians, lineage was 
traced through women, so that when a chief 
died, his position, in most cases, went to his 
sister's son, although elite status probably was 
enjoyed by all of the chief's relations. While 
most of the rulers were men, a few Mississip- 
pian societies were governed by women. 
Whatever the reach of their authority, leaders 
did not rule alone, but were likely assisted by 
a council of advisors, such as those who sat in 
the wall seats in the Ocmulgee earthlodge. 

Following customs duplicated in other 
locations during the Mississippian period, 
Beaverdam Creek people eventually dismantled 
their carefully-built earthlodge and buried a 
highly-esteemed man where the building once 
stood. They may well have destroyed the 
building because of the death of this important 
man, possibly their chief. 

When they removed the walls, they buried 
the floor of the structure under a pile of brown 
sand. They probably carried the sand in many 
basket loads to fill the cavity left by the de- 
stroyed building, piling the sand so high that 
it sometimes reached several feet above the old 
floor. Atop this heavy concentration of fill, 
they added another layer of darker brown 
burial sand, which they molded into a mound 
about a foot high. They then scooped out a 
shallow, oval-shaped grave. There they placed 
the man's body in a tightly-flexed, fetal posi- 

Envisioning a solemn funeral for someone 
held in such regard is made easier by itemiz- 
ing the many valued goods mourners sent with 
him to the afterlife. No other prehistoric burial 
uncovered in the Russell studies displayed 
such artifact complexity or variety. Among the 
objects, found fitted to the skull, was a cres- 
cent-shaped sheet of copper, embossed with a 
concentric, circular design. Almost eight 
inches long, the crescent was probably part of 
an elaborate headdress. Mississippian elites 
often dressed in exquisite costumes represent- 
ing birds and other animals to perform cere- 

Figure 59: Postmold alignments from the first earthlodge 
were found at the Beaverdam Creek mound site. 

monies and dances. Plant fibers clinging to the 
copper crescent were possibly more remnants 
of such a ceremonial headdress. There were 
also signs that fabric was pressed against the 
copper at burial; possibly the entire body was 
wrapped in cloth. 

The circular design on the headpiece reap- 
peared on two ear ornaments found near the 
skull. The earrings, round copper disks, were 
about two inches in diameter. Pieces of wood 
ear plugs that once held them in place were 

There were indications that he also wore at 
least two necklaces, including a shell gorget, 
a popular Mississippian adornment made from 
a whelk or conch shell. This round gorget was 
found at chest level. Unfortunately, the details 
of its cut-out design had deteriorated over 
time. A small, button-shaped shell with two 
holes lay on top of the pendant, and was 
perhaps a part of the motif. 

To make such a necklace, the artist sought 
a large, spiral shell of the sort children hold to 
their ears to hear the ocean. These shells were 
popular trade goods for Mississippian people, 
and must have cost those farthest inland a 
good deal. The ideal shell was large and had 



■ & 



c m 

Figure 60: Shell artifacts from the burial mound included A, the columella pendant, C, an ear 
ornament, and B, D, E & F, gorgets. D has a carving of a bird, possibly a woodpecker. 

great luster, with a long shaft inside called the 
columella that could be cut into many small, 
decorative beads. The whorl, the part of the 
shell that fans out from the center column, 
was removed, then cut into shape to form the 

gorget. Any rough edges were then smoothed. 
Ovals and circles were popular gorget 
shapes, as well as squares. Small holes were 
drilled into the gorget tops for suspending 
them from cord or some other material. The 


artist's virtuosity in design and technique 
manifested itself with the delicate etchings and 
cut-outs made next in the surface of the sea- 

Gorget decorations are often detailed depic- 
tions of mythical and real animals, so fluid in 
their execution that they seem to move. Some 
designs portray ominous-looking visages that 
may or may not represent humans. These 
images are thought possibly to reflect the be- 
liefs and group affiliations of their former 
owners, as well as their status as leaders. 

Occasionally, the columella was not cut into 
beads, but left intact and used as an ornament, 
which was the case with the second necklace 
found with the important man's burial at 
Beaverdam Creek. This columella had a hole 
drilled at one end and was worn like an up- 
side-down tornado, with the biggest part of the 
shell at the bottom. The necklace supporting 
the columella was strung with many small 
shells, each about one-and-a-half inches long. 

Altogether, archeologists counted 7,043 
shell beads in this single burial, mostly near 
the thighs, right knee, and chest. Experts think 
the shell beads— formed into tiny barrels and 
flat disks— were worn as strands in bracelets, 
sewn into garments, or both. 

Finally, a thin, highly-polished mammal 
bone found near the head apparently was a 
hairpiece. Men sometimes wore their long hair 
wrapped into buns secured by such pins. This 
pin was about two inches long, flat on one 
end, with a blunted point on the other. 

While exactly what the peoples' beliefs 
were and how they observed them are not 
known in detail, the copper ornaments, shell 
gorget, and columella pendant were character- 
istic of ritualistic symbolism identified with the 
Southeastern Ceremonial Complex, also called 
the Southern Cult, which existed broadly in 
the Southeast. 

As for the man who was buried above the 
first earthlodge and was accorded such defer- 
ence in death, scientists learned that he had 
probably also required extensive care during 
his lifetime. His skeleton revealed that he was 

between 30 and 35 years old, and had suffered 
from osteomyelitis, an infection of the inner 
bone which causes inflammation of the mar- 
row. Robert Tyzzer, a physical anthropologist, 
determined that both of the man's legs and one 
arm were affected. Crippled and in great pain, 
he possibly died from the disease. 

His grave, covered with a yellowish, gray 
clay almost a foot thick, likely sanctified the 
place where the people built their next ceremo- 
nial structure, another earthlodge. The grave 
was underneath the new building's earth 

Construction methods for this ceremonial 
structure were similar to those used on the 
first earthlodge. Builders again formed walls 
from posts stuck in the ground, and placed 
bigger posts in the corners as braces. Smaller 
than its forerunner, with each side of the 
building only seven yards long, this second 
structure conversely had more dirt piled up 

Burial 2, Beaverdam Creek Mound. The burial was 
that of a high status male whose internment occurred 
between the dismantling of Structure Al and the 
construction of Structure A2. 
Source: Rudolph and Hally 1985: 84 

Figure 61: The man's skeleton found with many objects (Burial 
2) was placed atop where the First earthlodge once was. 


Figure 62: A copper ceremonial headdress, turned green with age, was fitted to the skull of a skeleton uncovered in the 
earthlodge. Mississippian leaders often wore elaborate costumes for rituals. 

against its walls. Archeologists estimated that 
in some places the embankments were nearly 
four feet high. 

The dirt supports stretched nearly nine feet 
away from the walls, and once again sloped 
gradually downward until they reached ground 
level. Creating this soil embankment was not 
a haphazard dumping of whatever dirt was 
handy, but a deliberate layering of different- 
colored sediments. Some of these sediment 
layers were six inches thick. 

The entrance was again cut through the dirt 
embankment, but was much longer, nearly 
eight feet, and three feet wide. The new floor 
inside the building was apparently basin 
shaped, with an outer rim near the walls about 
six inches higher than the center. Later, appar- 
ently during cleaning or remodeling, this floor 

was replaced by two layers of sand, raising the 

Ultimately, this building suffered the same 
fate as the first: It was dismantled and filled 
with dirt. But the cause of the destruction this 
time was perhaps not death, but something 
different. Soil examination showed that silt 
and sand were deposited along at least one 
side of the earthlodge during one of Beaver- 
dam Creek's furious rampages. Maybe the 
shelter flooded, became useless, and therefore 
was abandoned, leading to the building of the 
first true mound at the site. 

Why these followers of the Mississippian 
culture changed from building earthlodges to 
mounds is unknown. Perhaps the transition 
reflected a change from a more egalitarian 
leadership with decision making by councils to 


a more rigidly hierarchical society more domi- 
nated by chiefs; fewer people may have had 
access to ceremonial buildings. 

Or, possibly the people at Beaverdam 
Creek underwent some type of upheaval in 
their relationship to neighboring ceremonial 
centers. Another mound, called Tate, about 15 
feet high, existed only four miles away and 
was possibly contemporaneous with the Beav- 
erdam Creek center. Perhaps the two places 
participated in some kind of power sharing, 
but the Tate mound, outside the reservoir area, 
has not been extensively excavated, so knowl- 
edge about it is limited. 

The Russell studies, however, did reveal 
significant information about how society was 
organized. There were three distinct types of 
settlements: homesteads, where small groups 
lived and farmed, villages, and the ceremonial 
centers, like the one at Beaverdam Creek. 
Residents of villages and homesteads probably 
visited the Beaverdam Creek mound for festi- 
vals and ceremonies, and may have also vol- 
unteered or been obligated to pay tribute to the 
leaders at the mound with the best parts of 
slain deer. Excavations at a village about 
seven-and-a-half miles from the mound re- 
vealed that the prized deer 
hindquarters had been re- 
moved, an indication the 
villagers were paying tribute. 

Farm plowing had dam- 
aged the Beaverdam Creek 
site, interfering with archeo- 
logical investigations, but 
even more destructive were 
deep gouges left by vandals 
hunting for artifacts. Besides 
pilfering important objects, 
the intruders also irreparably 
harmed the soil layering and 
stains crucial to understanding 
ancient human activity. Many 
details of the mound center, 
and of other vandalized sites, 
will never be understood Figure 63: More tha 

because these "thieves Of remains of the man who 

time" destroyed part of the human record in 
their search for personal gain or mantlepiece 

Despite the damage done, Hally and Ru- 
dolph were able to determine that the mound 
first built over the remains of the two earth- 
lodges was small, probably only eight inches 
higher than the almost four-feet high embank- 
ments of the second earthlodge. Shaped like a 
rectangular pyramid, the mound was about 56 
feet long on one side, and 46 feet long on the 
other. There was probably a building on the 
flat surface atop the mound. 

Near the mound's summit, investigators 
discovered an area of packed dirt. In this 
packed surface, they located a narrow pit filled 
with animal bone, antler, and burned plants. 
Both the pit and packed surface were topped 
by a layer of fired clay, and were possibly 
once part of the floor of the suspected build- 
ing. The burned remains, however, could have 
also resulted from ceremonies used to conse- 
crate the mound. 

A decade before Hally and Rudolph's 
excavations, other archeologists found signs of 
another possible building on the first mound. 
They discovered two lines of postmolds above 

7,000 shell beads were found with the poorly preserved 
may have been chief. 


another burial. Only a few bones remained of 
the skeleton, and no artifacts were found in 
the grave. But traces of burned wood near the 
grave and charcoal fragments appearing inside 
the postmolds indicated that at least part of the 
structure was burned, perhaps after the burial. 

A layer of sand mixed with clay and ash 
had washed down the mound's side, but there 
was not enough data to prove that an entire 
building on top was once burned to the 
ground. There was much debris in this soil 
eroded from the mound's summit— unburned 
wood from logs or planks, boulders, sherds, 
animal bone, plant remains, and soapstone. 
Archeologists also found small, triangular 
arrowheads and remains of various tools. All 
of these objects seemed to suggest that every- 
day household activities were practiced by 
someone atop the mound, perhaps a chief or 
members of his family who may have lived 

The objects found on the side of the mound 

were well preserved because soon after they 
washed into place or were purposely thrown 
there, the people covered them with dirt as 
they built a bigger mound. They added about 
five more inches this time, and shaped a 
square base about 20 yards long on all sides. 
And, because there was now a steep hill to 
climb on one corner, they formed seven clay 
steps there. Overall, however, the mound was 
still not especially tall compared to some 
Mississippian earth formations. Even after two 
more additions in later years, its total height 
was probably only about five feet. But these 
five feet represented six different construction 
efforts, including the two earthlodges and four 
mound stages. Experts think structures stood 
atop all four mound stages, even though they 
found no evidence of a building on the second 

Unquestionably, the site was sacred for 
generations because this was where many 
chose to bury their loved ones. More than 30 

Figure 64: Ceremonial mounds sometimes had temples built on top and stairs leading up to them. An artist recreates 
how a mound might have looked. Beaverdam Creek mound was considerably smaller. 


Fighting Back 

Many forces threaten study of the past, some avoidable, some not. Fire, wind, waves, farm plowing, 
animals, construction, automobiles, and aircraft can all hasten destruction of archeological sites. Federal 
agencies, like the National Park Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, are fighting back, experi- 
menting with preservation and stabilization methods. 

Soil erosion can be particularly vexing. In response, scientists have categorized vegetation that can be 
planted in different parts of the country to help hold soil. Erosion on Indian mounds, for example, can be 
slowed by planting grasses with short roots which won't damage fragile remains underneath. Avoiding 
harsh fertilizers also helps protect mound contents. Many other anti-erosion methods are also being tried, 
including using wire or plastic mesh, and sometimes stacking logs to hold earth banks in place. 

Damage caused by rivers or oceans is fought in some cases by simply piling up rocks or building 
barricades of cement, steel, or sturdy synthetics. Wave damage has also sometimes been reduced merely 
by encouraging boat drivers to go slower. Blocking whole river channels can also stop important 
archeological data from floating away. Some sites are purposely buried to keep them intact for future study, 
while erecting fences and closing trails protects other spots from damaging foot or vehicular traffic. 

The most menacing threat of all, however, is vandalism. A 1989 report estimates that vandalism on 
archeological sites managed by the Southern Region of the U.S. Forest Service could cost four million 
dollars to repair. Sadly, however, much vandalism is irreparable. For those who value the past, few sights 
are more distressing than the ugly, bomb-crater landscapes caused by unauthorized digging. The battle 
against vandalism, however, isn't futile; there is some headway. Prosecution of thieves who steal artifacts 
from public lands does occur, aided by recent, stiff federal laws. Punishment for violation of these laws 
can include fines up to $100,000 and imprisonment. Warning signs are now in place near some sites to 
discourage potential lawbreakers. In addition, a few state governments have also passed laws to curb 
vandalism on public land, and back up the legislation with tough enforcement. Such a commitment by states 
like North Carolina and Florida is, unfortunately, the exception. 

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TV A) encourages amateur archeologists to join the fight in preserving 
the archeological record by allowing them to take part in authorized artifact hunting. The TVA offers 
training in field techniques, then allows participants access to TVA lands. Any artifacts they find belong 
to the government, but participants can borrow them for study or for display in presentations to schools 
and others. The amateurs further help by reporting any unauthorized digging they see, but they are 
cautioned against confronting looters themselves, because those who vandalize for profit are often armed. 

Federal agencies are fighting theft in other ways as well. Currently, experiments are underway with 
electronic surveillance equipment, and while much of the technology is promising, costs are often high. 
Stepped-up enforcement and better training for those responsible for site protection are also underway. Most 
promising of all, however, are efforts to teach young and old that digging up artifacts without permission 
and without guidance from a professional archeologist is wrong and destructive because once an 
archeological site is damaged, information is lost forever. 

graves were uncovered within the many layers 
of the mound, extending down to the first 
earthlodge and below. 

Before the building of the first earthlodge, 
there was apparent equality concerning wheth- 
er men or women were buried there, but 
males received more elaborate mortuary treat- 
ment. With the creation of the mound, male 
burials dominated. Placement in this cemetery 
apparently came to be a final mark of lofty 
social standing, with some of the burials 

accompanied by prized goods. Such objects 
were absent in all but one of the burials found 
away from the mound in the adjoining village 
area. All of these unadorned village graves 
belonged to women and children. 

About one third of the mound burials 
contained artifacts or exhibited some sort of 
distinctive care. While dominated by men, this 
more prestigious graveyard did include some 
adult female and child burials, apparently 
showered with the same degree of attention as 


Figure 65: Looters searching for artifacts severely damaged Beaverdam Creek 
Mound. Their careless digging destroyed important information, and put archeologists 
on guard to protect the site. 

the men's. Noteworthy was the grave of a 
woman, whose age at death was about 40. The 
remains were located beneath two charred 
logs, and accompanied by a bead and two 
square shell pieces. Directly over her burial 
and extending down into it were several 
hearth-like surfaces, with a wide range of 
charred plant and animal remains, possible 
residue from her funeral. 

Another woman, about 21 , was buried with 
many turtle shell pieces near her pelvis that 
apparently came from a crushed rattle or cup. 
Early people often expressed their grief by 
purposely breaking grave goods. Sometimes 
they also punched holes in ceramic vessels, 
but none of these were found at Beaverdam 

Another grave that received unusual treat- 
ment belonged to a woman, about 45. She was 
buried beneath a possible screen or a small 
structure about two feet long. Although the 
wood had long decayed, a curved line of 
postmolds alerted archeologists to the special 

A child about 18 months old of indetermi- 
nate sex was buried with seven bone beads and 

two shell gorgets. One gorget, 
square-shaped and about three 
inches wide, found behind the 
head, was probably a hair 
decoration. The other gorget, 
circular and smaller, was 
apparently worn as a pendant. 
Parts of its center were cut 
away to create the image of a 
long-billed bird, a woodpeck- 
er possibly, with an arrow 
passing through the bird from 
left to right. 

Many female skeletons, 
whether buried in the mound 
or apart from it, showed signs 
of deliberate cranial deforma- 
tion or head shaping. This 
was achieved by tieing an 
infant's head to a board so 
that both its front and rear 
were altered as the skull seams joined with 
age. Considered a mark of beauty, the result- 
ing sloping forehead and flattened back of the 
head took about a year to shape, with babies 
kept tied to the boards for decreasing lengths 
of time over the 12 months. The practice 
persisted when Europeans arrived. Indeed, 
Indians considered shaped skulls so superior 
that they derided the Europeans as ugly "long 

Indians commonly tied both boy and girl 
infants to shaping boards, but at the Beaver- 
dam Creek site, only girls heads appeared to 
have been altered. 

Among the men receiving distinctive burial 
treatment was a 60-year-old put in a special 
chamber dug toward the side of a pit in the 
mound. Near his wrist, 450 small, barrel- 
shaped beads were found. Bone analysis 
disclosed that this individual, who was quite 
elderly for his time, suffered from a chronic 
bone disease called blastomycosis caused by a 
yeast-like fungus. Apparent attempts to relieve 
his pain involved cutting through his skin to 
the shin bones. Partially healed scars in his 
lower leg bones alerted scientists to what must 


have been a horribly painful surgery. 

Age was a status factor for many buried in 
the mound with either grave goods or with 
unusual grave treatments. Women awarded 
these more prominent final resting places 
averaged about age 40, compared to women 
accorded no special treatment, who averaged 
about age 28. Surviving childbirth, a probable 
cause of death for many of the younger wom- 
en, seemed to allow older ones to achieve 
elevated standing. In contrast, men accorded 
distinctive burials averaged about age 46, the 
same approximate age as males not given the 
extra care. 

For all the adult burials, high and low 
status, the average male age was 46, while the 
average female age was only 32. Most of the 
burials of people between age 20 and 30 were 
women, an indication of the dangers associated 
with the peak reproductive years. Equally 
treacherous for everyone, however, were life's 
first ten years, when the most deaths occurred. 
Researchers did not find a single teenage 
burial, suggesting that the adolescent years 
were either virtually risk free or else had to be 
survived before a person could be buried in 

the mound. 

While the significance of various grave 
goods is debatable, four small triangular 
arrowheads found near the feet of the remains 
of a man in his early 30' s suggest that he was 
an admired hunter. But the significance of how 
the bodies were placed in graves is less clear: 
65 percent were found with the skull tops 
facing southeast. 

Pollen samples from several graves showed 
they once held considerable amounts of a plant 
called spikemoss, which was perhaps used as 
a cushioning burial mat. 

Bone analysis showed scientists other inter- 
esting facts, including a possible case of 
tuberculosis. The finding is controversial 
because some scientists think the disease didn't 
even exist in North America so long ago. 
Possible signs of the malady were detected in 
the remains of a woman about 21. 

Experts are unsure exactly how many 
people lived at the ceremonial center, but 
think that at least some stayed there year 
round. A layer of artifact-rich soil up to eight 
inches thick stretched about 50 yards out from 
the mound into the village, indicating consid- 

Figure 66: Deer bones (B) and bird bones (C & D) were used as awls for punching holes in wood and 
hides, and possibly for weaving baskets. A is a polished bone cylinder, perhaps a hair pin. 


Figure 67: The copper headdress (A) and earspool (B) found with the hurial in the first earthlodge 
share a concentric circular design. The ceremonial celt (C) was covered with a thin copper layer. 


erable human presence. But in this area, re- 
searchers detected only one set of postmolds 
reflecting a former house. The postmolds 
formed a square about ten yards on all sides. 

The farmer's plow that disturbed much of 
the site possibly destroyed signs of other 
dwellings. Perhaps once there were as many 
as ten houses in the village, but Hally and 
Rudolph surmised that there were probably 
less. They theorized that for most of the year 
the center was the residence of only a small 
group, and that this group was joined during 
special events and festivals by others who 
lived elsewhere. They attributed the many 
postmolds found within 50 yards of the mound 
to temporary platforms or arbors where the 
visitors slept, and to benches and screens 
erected for their use. 

Even during the special occasions that 
brought them to the mound, these visitors 
likely continued many of their normal daily 
activities— preparing meals, manufacturing 
tools, making pottery, and sharpening their 
weapons— accounting for many of the artifacts 
found in the village area. Besides the stones 
for the chunkey games already mentioned, 
there were hammerstones, anvils, and small, 
quartz pebbles for polishing pottery, as well as 
oblong, soapstone objects, possibly used as 

A few perforated slabs resembling the 
boiling stones of the Late Archaic period and 
many other soapstone pieces in various shapes 
surfaced. Bone tools also were found, includ- 
ing awls, which were used as sharp tools for 
punching holes. 

Archeologists also uncovered many pieces 
from smoking pipes, most of which were 
made of ceramics, along with a few made of 
stone. The volume of pipe fragments indicated 
that smoking wasn't limited to ceremonies, but 
was a part of daily life. One especially inter- 
esting pipe fragment was made to look as if 
two, small human hands were holding the 

A glimpse into the lost rites celebrated at 
the mound came with the discovery of an 

indisputable ceremonial artifact— a celt. Some- 
how, the object was overlooked by the vandals 
who dug the hole where archeologists later 
found it. 

Researchers concluded that the stone celt, 
an ax-like tool, was never intended for ordi- 
nary use because it was covered in a thin layer 
of copper, which showed no signs of wear. 

Dating another structure found in the 
mound area was problematical. This round 
building, traces of which were buried beneath 
outer edges of the last two mound stages, may 
have stood when one of the earthlodges exist- 
ed. But the building could have also existed 
during the time of the earliest mound stages. 
Its purpose was also puzzling. 

The people built the round shelter with 
methods similar to those used in erecting 
structures atop the last two mound surfaces. 
They first dug a trench two feet deep in a 
circle, which was about five yards in diameter. 


Pothol* to SuOion 

Structure B, a circular wall trench building located on 
sand-leveled ground to the north of structures Al and A2. 
Built prior to mound stage 3, the occurrence of flood depositee 
sands around the entrance suggests contemporaneity with 
Structure A2. A clay-rimmed hearth was located in the center 
of the structure. 
(Source: Rudolph and Hally 1965: 94) 

Figure 68: A circular building, outlined in a site drawing, 
possibly existed at the same time as the second earthlodge. 


The trench was about a foot wide at the top, 
narrowing to only about four inches at the 
bottom, where the builders jammed in the wall 
posts. They pushed the posts as much as three 
inches past the soft trench bottom to anchor 
them. Then they packed in dirt to help hold 
them in place. Finally, they coated the walls 
with unfired clay. 

Because few whole artifacts appeared within 
remains of the house, which showed no sign 
of being burned, archeologists theorized that 
the structure was cleaned before it was demol- 
ished. What researchers found were mostly 
examples of everyday refuse— arrowheads, 
stone flakes from toolmaking or resharpening, 
sherds, and animal and plant food remains. 

Few potential ritual objects materialized, a 
baffling omission because the structure was 
within only feet of the spiritual and govern- 
mental focal point for an entire region. The 

only artifacts with religious potential were a 
single bead, three battered crystal fragments 
that were perhaps used to start fires, and a 
small piece of mica. Nothing surfaced, either, 
to suggest that a member of the elite class 
occupied the building. There were none of the 
valuable shell gorgets or columella pendants 
that the higher caste favored. These shell 
ornaments and ceremonial articles, however, 
are exactly the sorts of items that would have 
been purposely removed before the building 
was abandoned, leading archeologists to think 
that someone of elevated stature may indeed 
have lived in the house. 

One final discovery within this structure's 
borders, a two-inch piece of graphite, possibly 
was used to make black paint. Elsewhere at 
the site, pieces of graphite and other substanc- 
es used for obtaining pigments were found, 
including ocher, which yields hues of yellow, 

Cooking Customs and Containers 

Research conducted by David Hally at Beaverdara Creek Mound demonstrated that participants in the 
Mississippian culture preferred to eat liquid-based foods with large spoons. They dipped the spoons into 
a particular sort of communal container, called a carinated bowl, which was circular with a flat bottom. 
Bowl sides slanted upward from the base at an approximate 45 degree angle, and the containers could be 
quite large. One found at the creek site had an opening at the top sixteen-and-a-half inches wide. 

Carinated bowls were also used for heating precooked foods and for cooking foods briefly. Soot was 
found on many of the sherds as a result. 

Broths for the liquid dishes served in the carinated bowls came largely from oily seeds, animal flesh, 
or nut oils. Liquids from the same sources were often poured over cooked and uncooked vegetables when 
served. Hominy, dried and hulled corn kernels prepared with wood ash lye, frequently found its way into 
the pot, and also into baked breads. To be palatable, hominy required hours of boiling, as did many of the 
more fluid meals. Cooks used especially deep jars to prepare these dishes. They also used the deep jars for 
storing soups, water, and oils. 

With the increased complexities of their culture, Mississippian potters were motivated to make a greater 
variety of containers than their ancestors. Besides the carinated bowls and deep jars, they made vessels of 
many other sizes and shapes for different purposes— for pouring oils over food, for serving fruits and nut 
meal, for short-term storage, and for stirring and beating food. For potables, they fashioned clay bottles, 
with small openings at the top. These were rare, however, because the people at the mound probably 
preferred drinking water from gourds. Perhaps they drank sassafras tea, among other beverages, from the 

The variety in size and type of pots found at Beaverdam Creek Mound perhaps indicates that at least 
some pots were used for serving individuals, and that others served entire households or even several 
households. The assortment could also reflect the potters' different tastes. One woman perhaps preferred 
making the bigger vessels, while another opted for the smaller styles. 


brown, or red, and hematite, also a source for 
red. Mississippian people, apparently adept at 
color chemistry, mixed these pigments, and 
those found in plants, with spit, blood, urine, 
water, or bear grease to form paint. At other 
Southeastern sites, archeologists have found 
paint brushes made with feathers and animal 
hair. The brushes resemble those used today. 

The Beaverdam Creek site residents en- 
joyed a varied diet, with corn, acorns, hickory 
nuts, and maypop fruit among the most impor- 
tant plant foods. Scientists from the University 
of North Carolina, who studied carbonized 
plant remains from the site, found corn espe- 
cially prevalent, appearing in 93 percent of the 
samples. Most of the corn was an eight-rowed 
variety called Maiz de Ocho, Eastern Com- 
plex, or Northern Flint. 

Residents also ate squash, and probably 
sunflower and sumpweed seeds, and fruit. 
Besides the maypop, they ate quantities of 
grapes. Persimmons, strawberries, plums, and 

bramble berries (a category including black- 
berry, dewberry, and raspberry) were also 
consumed. To flavor their stews and soups, 
they used the potherbs carpetweed and purs- 

Their less familiar foods included maygrass 
seeds, which are produced in late spring and 
early summer when other food could be 
scarce. They also ate the greens and seeds 
from chenopodium and amaranth, which are 
today considered weeds. These plants cropped 
up quickly after fields were cleared. 

The predominance of pine pollen found 
during the excavations suggested the residents 
did much deliberate land clearing. Prehistoric 
farmers, inclined to till the rich alluvial soils, 
did little to augment soil fertility; when fields 
were exhausted, they simply cleared more land 
and started over. The first tree in the South- 
east to grow in an abandoned field is pine. 

Fish, abundantly available nearby, were 
well represented among the refuse. The re- 

Tall Neck Jar 

Short Neck Jar 



Carlnated Bowl 



Straight Rim Bowl 


Rim Bowl 

/ "J 

Rim Bowl 





Beaverdam phase vessel forms, 
Beaverdam Creek Mound Site. 
Source: Rudolph and Hally 1985: 370 

A, one bar cross diamond; B, two bar cross diamond; 
C, herringbone; D, filfot cross; E, one bar cross 
concentric circle; F, two bar concentric circle; G, 

Beaverdam phase complicated stamped design 
motifs, Beaverdam Creek Mound Site. 
Source: Rudolph and Hally 1985: 266 

Figure 69: Many different ceramic vessel shapes and designs were found at the Beaverdam Creek Mound site. 






Figure 70: Many pipes were found in the mound site excavations. F & II are made of stone, while all the others 
are ceramic. Mississippian people smoked different blends of plant leaves. 


mains of gar, sucker, white catfish, channel 
catfish, sunfish, large-mouth bass, black 
crappies, and freshwater drum all appeared in 
the soils. 

Some of these fish swam near shoals in 
fast-moving shallows, while others preferred 
the deeper river water. They were caught in 
many ways— with hooks, nets, weirs, traps, or 
even with poison. Europeans noted that South- 
eastern Indians sometimes built an enclosure in 
a creek or stream when water levels were low, 
then put poison made from walnut tree bark 
and other substances into the water. The 
Indians then drove the fish into the lethal trap 
where they died. 

Wild turkey was another favored dish at 
Beaverdam Creek Mound. There were also 
remains left from a passenger pigeon. These 
migratory birds, which became extinct in the 
late 19th century, used to blacken the skies of 
North America, so plentiful were their num- 

As expected, there were signs of deer 
consumption, but also evidence that turtles, 
rabbit, squirrel, fox, and other small animals 
were hunted as well. 

Charred bone remains showed 
that cooks sometimes roasted 
meat, but the presence of ceramics 
substantiated their taste for stews 
and soups, too. Prehistoric people 
did not customarily dine together 
at set meal times, but ate when 
they were hungry, which may or 
may not have coincided with when 
someone else was hungry. 

In preparing dishes, cooks often 
used bear oil, which was also 
popular for other reasons. Mixed 
with red pigment and a sweet scent 
derived from sassafras tree bark 
and wild cinnamon, the oil was 
rubbed into the hair and all over 
the body, especially for festivals 
and ceremonies, according to early 
European observers. Babies, too, Figure 71: An 
were slathered with bear oil, per- a Mississippian 

haps to protect their tender skin from insect 

Further preventive health measures, as well 
as many treatments, came from other organic 
sources. Eyebane, for example, was used to 
treat skin injuries, infections, and as a laxa- 
tive. Evidence of the plant was found at the 
creek site. 

By the arrival of Europeans, some South- 
eastern residents were also using an extraction 
from willow bark prepared in a drink to treat 
aching muscles and fevers. The liquid they 
extracted, salicin, is now synthetically pro- 
duced as aspirin. Indians also chewed twigs 
from sweetgum trees to clean their teeth. 

Most of the pottery found at Beaverdam 
Creek Mound was undecorated, but some 
exhibited complicated stamping that required 
considerable effort to create. The triangular 
motifs popular on the stamped ceramics at the 
earlier Clyde Gully Mississippian site reap- 
peared at the mound excavation. These trian- 
gular decorations included intersecting straight 
lines in cross shapes. 

Similar cross and bar patterns also appeared 
in conjunction with concentric circles. Other 

example of a shell gorget displays the delicate carving skills of 
artist. The artifact was found at Etowah Mounds in Georgia. 


Figure 72: Pots and sherds found at the creek site included A-D, jar rims; E-G, bowl pieces; H, a jar 
handle; and I & J, polished bowls, which perhaps belonged to someone of high status. 


Figure 73: Soils of different colors and textures provided a guide to the past at the 
Beaverdam Creek Mound site. 

styles included the keyhole, which resembles 
a circle wrapped in flying streamers; the filfot 
cross, which looks woven; and a herringbone 
of many connected V and W shapes. Check 
stamping, which calls to mind tiny waffles, 
and was first seen in the Woodland period, 

Another decorative technique, burnishing 
vessels to a high gloss, provided a possible 
clue about the relative importance of the 
ceremonial center over time. Use of the tech- 
nique at the mound gradually declined. If these 
polished ceramics were reserved for the elite, 
as some suspect, then the dwindling incidence 
of them could indicate a gradual downturn in 
the fortunes of the residents. Fueling this 
hypothesis was a parallel drop in the number 
of elaborate grave goods made of shell and 

copper in the final mound burials compared to 
earlier ones, although this drop could be a 
result of modern-day looting. 

Whether the end came gradually or all at 
once, the authority emanating from Beaverdam 
Creek Mound for some 100 years eventually 
stopped altogether, and a new ceremonial 
center arose. 

The new seat of power appeared at a site 
called Rembert, which was only a few miles 
downstream from the Beaverdam Creek 
Mound. The rise of the Rembert center is 
associated with change in the Russell study 
area among Mississippian people. About this 
time, they markedly increased their vigilance, 
perhaps in response to spreading warfare. 
Amid the tension, the stage was set for a 
mysterious disappearance. 


Figure 74: A replica of a Mississippian house shows how benches were built on wood stilts 
for sleeping and sitting. A hearth dug in the floor is partly visible on the right. 


Chapter 9: Villages Found and Lost 

a.d. 1300 to 1450 
The Mississippian Era 

The river had served the people well when 
its waters wore away a natural harbor at the 
base of a bluff near their village. Within the 
20 protected yards of this semicircle, they 
could collect water in gourds and pots without 
venturing into the swiftest currents flowing 
about ten yards farther out. The harbor also 
provided them with a safe haven for bathing 
and swimming, and an ideal dock for their 
canoes, which they prized because making 
them took much time and effort. 

To form one of the dugout boats, they 
sought a stout tree, which they chopped down, 
then hollowed by hand with stone tools. Any 
of the tree core that couldn't be removed by 
hand was set afire until only a shallow cavity 
was left. Finally, they shaped the canoe's two 
ends into points to make it swifter, and carved 
wood paddles to help them guide it through 
the river and creeks. 

The bluff, about 13 feet tall, and the river 
below it provided some protection from attack 
for the villagers whose houses were built 
around an open plaza about 40 yards away. 
But they also needed other defenses, which 
they strengthened over time. 

They began by digging a semi-circular 
ditch. Then several yards behind the ditch and 
parallel to it, they built a stockade fence. The 
ditch and fence looped around the community, 
which was spread out over about 6,000 square 
yards. As the population expanded and the 
fence began to deteriorate, they built another 
fence with bigger posts, this time up to a foot 
in diameter, compared to the six-inch wide 
posts of the earlier one. This second fence 
stood behind a rectangular ditch that enclosed 
2,000 more square yards than the first ditch. 

Preparing the second set of fortifications 

began with digging the long rectangular ditch. 
Workers loaded the dirt they removed from 
the ditch into baskets, then carried it about 
six-and-a-half yards towards the village where 
they dumped it. They packed this dirt into a 
long, low embankment where the fence would 
stand, then dug another trench, about eight 
inches deep, in this embankment. Next they 
placed the fence posts in the trench, carefully 
packing clay around the post bases to hold 
them in place. They left several openings in 
the fortifications where residents could come 
and go to hunt, tend their fields, or dump 

The village sat on a terrace near where the 
Savannah River joined a small tributary called 
Van Creek, which occasionally overflowed 
into a swampy marsh. The people occasionally 
dumped their trash in this wet area behind the 
village. About 400 yards on the other side of 
the marsh, there was a small rise where hunt- 
ers prepared game before taking it into the 

While earlier dwellers on the same terrace 
had pledged their loyalty to the elite living at 
the ceremonial mound center near Beaverdam 
Creek, these new inhabitants were aligned 
with a different religious and political authori- 
ty twice as far away. Nearly 15 miles separat- 
ed them from the newer center at Rembert 
where there were several mounds, one 32 feet 

The distance between the Rembert mound 
center and their community, considerable in 
prehistoric times, possibly allowed the villag- 
ers more autonomy than those who had lived 
on the terrace before. But the distance could 
have also meant more isolation, necessitating 
more vigilance. Perhaps, with the rise of the 


new mound center farther away, the village 
near the bluff became more important to 
neighboring people living along the Savannah 
River in small, unprotected homesteads. May- 
be they considered the village a haven in times 
of war, and an alternative place to the mound 
center for festivals and ceremonies. 

Yet, no matter how vital this village once 
was and how hard people worked to protect it, 
this settlement was eventually abandoned. 
After about 250 years of human occupation, 
suddenly, inexplicably, no one claimed the 
land overlooking the river anymore. And not 
only did people desert this village, but others 
who occupied land for more than 200 miles 
along the river, all the way to the Atlantic 
Ocean, abruptly disappeared. By about A.D. 
1450, nearly everyone was gone in a perplex- 
ing departure that scientists have yet to under- 
stand fully. 

But excavations at the site of the former 
village, called Rucker's Bottom, in Elbert 
County, Georgia, did reveal other significant 
information about the last prehistoric years in 
the Russell area. Before that information could 
come to light, however, archeologists had to 
organize an immense research operation en- 
compassing three seasons of digs in 1980, 
1981, and 1982. 

Coordination of the undertaking was almost 
as massive as the piles of dirt eventually 
removed from the site, which stretched a half 
mile long and revealed artifacts from many 
prehistoric epochs. A small army of workers, 
professionals and volunteers, were involved, 
and an array of heavy equipment was mar- 
shalled into place. The heavy equipment often 
operated simultaneously and included a bull- 
dozer, motor grader, front-end loader, and a 
tractor-pulled scraping blade. The machines 
cleared away top soil, dug trenches, and 
moved tons of earth while a relentless summer 
sun baked the soil and the workers. 

To ensure that the field work was carefully 
done, archeologists themselves drove and 
operated the big machines, taking turns at the 
controls every few hours in a battle against 

fatigue exacerbated by the intense heat. 

The site soon took on the look of a small 
village once again, teeming with workers and 
interested bystanders who lived nearby. Those 
actually doing the research included indepen- 
dent archeologists, as well as archeologists 
employed full-time by the National Park 
Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engi- 
neers. Many universities, including Wake 
Forest, Georgia State, South Carolina, Geor- 
gia, Wisconsin, and Michigan, were represent- 
ed, either by offering field classes at the site 
or by conducting related research. The hun- 
dreds of volunteers nearly doubled the amount 
of work that could be accomplished. Among 
the helping hands was an entire high school 
class that traveled all the way from Jackson, 
Michigan to spend spring vacation. Weekend 
barbecues became a favorite occasion to honor 
everyone involved. 

All these individual contributions helped 
excavate a site that proved to be rich in arche- 
ological detail. While one group of scientists 
examined evidence from Archaic periods, 
others pored over remnants of the Mississippi- 
an era nearby. Work proceeded sometimes at 
a snail's pace, demanding patience. Fifty days 
of careful observation and recording were 
spent finding and mapping stains just in the 
Mississippian sectors, which covered several 
acres. Altogether, the site contained perhaps as 
many as 10,000 prehistoric stains, every one 
potentially significant. 

Gradually, as the research progressed, 
archeologists determined that Rucker's Bottom 
was the setting for two distinct Mississippian 
villages. The first existed between about A.D. 
1200 and 1350 during the height of the cere- 
monial center near Beaverdam Creek when the 
people who lived at Rucker's Bottom had no 
elaborate fence and ditch defenses. About the 
time the mound center collapsed, the first 
village at Rucker's Bottom was abandoned, 
and the second one established. The center of 
the later settlement was only about 100 yards 
away from the middle of the first village. It 
was this second village which was enclosed by 


figure 75: An srtisl depicts how a MLstLssippuin village at Hurler's Kotlom might have looked. 


:- 3 . .* ^ '". "V > - ■'---■ ••* "••-•>. ' • 

■■•'-*5i •'• •" '<••'■■"- •T r ;.> s 

• • 

.».* . 25 •* 

• » » • 

/•• -. ••• w . », .«*-*.% •.•••'- •• ^ 

Figure 76: Outlines of the two defensive ditches at Rucker's Bottom appear as the darkest, thickest lines in a site 
drawing, while the thinner, partial rectangle represents a fence. 

elaborate fortifications. 

David Anderson and Joseph Schuldenrein, 
research team leaders, confirmed the existence 
of these separate villages, in part through 
radiocarbon dating and from differences in 
pottery styles found in the two areas. They 
further detected a span of about 20 yards 
between the two settlements that was relatively 
free of the earth stains that would indicate 
houses or other structures, another sign that 
the first community did not merely expand, 
but that another entirely new village devel- 
oped. But why one village was abandoned for 
another so close by is unclear. 

The two villages shared similar layouts. 
Houses in both were circularly arranged 
around a plaza where a great tree pole was 
erected for games. Archeologists found pits 
filled with hundreds of pounds of boulders, 
indicating where the heavy posts were once 
moored. Males sometimes practiced their 
archery skills by shooting at targets hung from 
such posts 30 to 40 feet overhead. They also 
played athletic games like chunkey, the disk 
and spear contest, in the surrounding plaza. 

A post was also central to a game that 
women joined in, at least by historic times 
when Europeans observed them. This was the 
single pole game; its object was to gain pos- 
session of a small hard ball and score points 
by throwing and hitting it against the pole 
higher than a designated mark. Bonus points 
were won by hitting an animal skull, tree 
limb, or some other object lodged even higher 
on the pole. Women threw with their hands, 
while men used sticks with webbing on one 
end. The same sticks were used for another 
game similar to lacrosse and reserved only for 

The lacrosse counterpart was extremely 
combative, commonly leading to many inju- 
ries, and sometimes even deaths of players, 
who called the game "little brother of war." 
To play, two teams ran up and down a field, 
fighting for possession of the ball, and trying 
to fling it with their webbed sticks through 
goals at each end of the field to earn points. 

A round council house— also called a rotun- 
da or hot house— was also part of each village. 
Both of these buildings were about the same 


•variant Creek 


Map 11: Important Mississippian archeological sites in the Southeast are shown, including Rucker's Bottom and 
Beaverdam Creek Mound excavated in the Russell Reservoir Project Area (insert). 


Figure 77: A 1981 photo of Rucker's Bottom shows a series of backhoe trenches dug to follow the fortification ditch. 

size, between thirteen and sixteen-and-a-half 
yards in diameter, twice as big as any other 
structures in either settlement. Stains from 
center support poles were found in one of the 
council house floor patterns; concentric circles 
of posts were found in the other. 

Such shelters were also part of Cherokee 
and Creek Indian cultures several hundred 
years later in the Southeast. Descriptions from 
Europeans who saw them tell of roofs that 
rested on poles which ran lengthwise from a 
point high above the center of the buildings, as 
much as 25 feet above the ground. These roof 
poles slanted downward, supported by other 
poles standing upright in a circular or octago- 
nal pattern. The roof poles continued six feet 
past the first circle of support poles, ending on 
another set of poles stuck in the ground. This 
second set of support posts, about five feet 
tall, formed another circle outside the first 
one. The outside ring of support posts was 
ribbed together with stripped branches and 
covered with thick clay, forming a wall. The 
roof was also sealed with clay, then covered 
with pine bark shingles. Builders left a small 

smoke hole at the roof top, but because of the 
insulating clay even the smallest fire could 
easily heat the interior to a high temperature, 
prompting the name "hot house". Entrance 
was gained through a door placed at the end of 
a six-foot long hallway that led into the center 
of the structure. 

The building served many functions. Danc- 
es and festivals were held there, especially in 
winter during bad weather. Guests from out- 
side the village also sometimes slept in the 
council house, as well as anyone else who had 
no other place to stay, including the sick 
requiring isolation. But the shelter's most 
important purpose was to provide space for the 
chief and his council to meet in winter. 

Council houses may have been common 
during the Mississippian period in villages that 
were part of weak chiefdoms, according to 
Chester DePratter. A chiefdom was weak 
when the leader resided at a ceremonial cen- 
ter, such as the one near Beaverdam Creek, 
but his followers who lived at other locations 
retained considerable autonomy. 

Many chiefdoms strengthened as the Missis- 


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Figure 78: A site drawing shows details of the second village at Rucker's Bottom, including the round council house. 


sippian tradition developed, 
gaining both people and 
territory within their pur- 
view until they became 
almost the equivalent of 
small states. But even 
among these most powerful 
and complex chiefdoms, 
some village independence 

How people governed 
themselves at the village 
level during the Mississippian era is not 
known for certain. Scientists have gained in- 
sight, however, into village life through the 
writings of Europeans who arrived in the 
Southeast later and observed the Creeks and 
Cherokees. No viable mound centers remained 
by the time the English arrived in the 1600's; 
and there were no more powerful chiefdoms. 
Gone, too, was use of most of the striking 
ceremonial artwork so important when the 
mounds dominated. 

Diseases brought to North America in the 
1500's by Spanish explorers killed thousands 
of Indians, and many others were deliberately 
slain by the treasure seekers, some of whom 
considered the native people they met less 
than human. Those they didn't slaughter, 
they may have robbed, taking the precious 
corn and other foods the Indians depended 
on for survival. The Mississippian culture 
collapsed possibly as a result of these many 
deaths and stresses. 

Nonetheless, what the English saw and 
recorded of village government 150 years 
later was probably similar to what existed 
during the Mississippian tradition, at least in 
the outlying villages. During the Mississip- 
pian era, such outlying villages were the 
political backwaters of the mound-based 

A village like either of those at Rucker's 
Bottom probably would have had its own 
village leader or headman, who was the 
representative of the more important leader 
who resided at a ceremonial mound. The 

Figure 79: Many smooth, pitted cobbles were 
found at Rucker's Bottom. Some were possibly 
chunky stones for the spear game. 

authority of the local head- 
man probably depended to 
some extent on the cooper- 
ation of those who lived 
under his sway. At least by 
the time the English ar- 
rived, the village chief 
could sometimes be re- 
moved from office if his 
people grew dissatisfied. 
The English also observed 
that to make any important 
decisions, the village chief convened the 
council composed of important men of the 
settlement. (Generally, politics was left to 

The notion, therefore, of a powerful village 
chief among early people in the Southeast is 
inaccurate, if ceremonial mound center chiefs 
are excluded. Certainly by the time the Eng- 
lish came on the scene, the village chief led 
only with considerable help from the council. 
And even then, the chief was not responsible 
for settling many important matters because 
vital decisions were instead often made by 
clans and lineage groups, which were traced 
through women. 



Figure 80: Experts think these holes where boulders were found 
once held posts for games in the village plaza at Rucker's Bottom. 


Jui. £ S'JSnES jmiri* 

For example, a father was 
not considered related to his 
own son, not part of his son's 
lineage. Instead, the boy's up- 
bringing was the responsibili- 
ty of his mother's brother, 
even though the boy's father 
lived with his wife and son in 
the same house. Women also 
owned the houses, and proba- 
bly the farm plots where they 
raised food for their relatives. 
Planting was a communal 
effort for both women and 
men, although women were 
primarily responsible for 
growing crops. 

Clans were comprised of 
various lineages, possibly 
distant blood relations, associ- 
ating themselves with the same animals or 
natural phenomenons, such as eagles or the 
wind. Being part of a clan sometimes meant 
heavy responsibilities. If a member was mur- 
dered, for example, the other clan members, 
not the village chief and council, were obligat- 
ed to avenge the death. Senior members of 
clans and lineages also enforced other rules, 
including strict prohibitions against adultery, 
and they settled disputes with other lineages. 
They also held power of approval over mar- 
riage proposals involving the group's females. 

What was left, disputes which couldn't be 
resolved by lineages and clans, planning of 
public works, negotiations with visiting ambas- 
sadors from other villages, and matters of 
war, were the issues the chief and council 

Their deliberations, in winter when they 
met indoors, seemed to take place in a hazy 
cloud of dark mystery, at least to English 
onlookers. The windowless council house was 
lit by a campfire or sometimes by river cane 
arranged to burn in spiral shapes on an earth 
mound in the building's center. Many traces of 
this burnt cane were found in the Rucker's 
Bottom excavation. 


Figure 81: Creek Indians held rituals in the "square ground" in warm weather. 

As the fire burned, the building grew 
rapidly hotter inside its thick clay insulation. 
Council members further warmed themselves 
by drinking a bitter hot drink, containing 
much caffeine, from a ceremonial conch shell 
or a special cup. Parched holly leaves and 
stems were boiled in an adjacent building to 
prepare this beverage called a-cee or black tea. 
Evidence of such adjoining buildings was 
found in both Rucker's Bottom villages. Possi- 
bly they were supply houses for items used 
inside the council house, or perhaps homes for 
village leaders. 

Early English observers in North America 
noted that the chief or Micco drank the black 
tea first, then the rest of the council followed 
in strict hierarchical order. Status was also 
reflected in the seating arrangement, but rank 
wasn't necessarily permanent. A councilor 
could achieve higher status by great valor in 
war or exemplary peacetime accomplishment. 
Everyone sat on rectangular benches resem- 
bling cots. Animal skins and cane mats 
stretched across the wooden frames, which 
rested on four short posts or stilts stuck in the 
ground. Similar furniture served as beds and 
seating within their homes. Inside the council 


house, the cots were arranged in a single 
circle or in several circular tiers, similar to a 
theater-in-the-round, depending on the number 
of members. 

After the chief drank black tea, he smoked 
a pipe filled with a mixture of plants, perhaps 
including tobacco, which originated in North 
America. With much solemnity, the leader 
blew smoke to the east, then towards the other 
three primary directions. Then he passed the 
pipe to his next in rank, who took his turn, 
followed by his subordinate, and so on until 
everyone had smoked. 

Only then did the meeting officially begin. 
Despite the importance of rank, all councilors 
had the right to speak, and eloquence was 
greatly admired. The advice of older men 
known for their wisdom was carefully consid- 
ered, but on all issues the gathering sought 
consensus. With all the preambles and the 
desire for unanimity, meetings could stretch on 
for hours. 

In warmer months, Creek Indian councils 
of historic times met in the open air in a place 
called the square ground. Sheds with benches 
inside, resembling those in the council house, 
were placed in a square 
arrangement facing one 
another. The sheds, 
covered by roofs, had at 
least one wall. Some- 
times there were three 
walls, which were often 
painted with animals or 
mythical creatures such 
as the evil Uktena, a 
dragon-like beast with 
antlers and wings. The 
openings where the 
fourth walls would have 
been faced the square, 
allowing a view of other 
participants sitting in the 
rest of the sheds. 

No square grounds 
have been found within 
Mississippian sites. 

However, at Rucker's Bottom, archeologists 
discovered a square pattern of postmolds in 
the later village that possibly represented 
something similar. This postmold pattern was 
detected near the council house, reflecting an 
arrangement similar to later Creek towns. 
While the pattern could have been from a 
former house, no hearths or storage pits like 
those found in other residences at the site were 
uncovered. Also, there were no remnants of 
internal support posts. But unlike most later 
Creek square grounds, this one once had four 
big posts at the corners that possibly supported 
a roof covering the entire square. And, post- 
molds indicated there were two possible en- 
trances along the sides, whereas the Creek 
square ground was entered through the corners 
of the square. Nevertheless, as in later square 
grounds, the postmold pattern matched the 
cardinal directions of north, south, east, and 
west, suggesting that this could have been a 
forerunner to the square ground, a place 
where the chief and council met in warm 

Other postmolds indicated more than 40 
structures within the two Rucker's Bottom 

Figure 82: Bark or thatch formed roofs of some Mississippian houses, and walls were made 
of mud and branches. Archeologists built a Mississippian-like shelter at Etowah Mounds. 


villages; and experts suspect that signs of even 
more shelters were disguised amid the many 
postmolds accumulated over several genera- 
tions of building and rebuilding. Most houses 
in the first settlement were round, with diame- 
ters between 13 and 26 feet. In the second 
village, rectangular buildings predominated, 
although round ones also existed. 

In both villages, there was evidence of 
many small structures, which in most cases 
probably represented store rooms (sometimes 
called barbacoas). These storage sheds proba- 
bly sat on stilts greased to keep out varmints. 
Some of the other small structures may have 
served as kitchens, steam rooms, or menstrual 
houses; Europeans noted that menstruating 
women were segregated from the population 
as a matter of purification. 

The steam houses used by historical Indians 
were tightly-sealed buildings where heated 
rocks were moistened with a mixture of water 
and ground parsnips. Sitting in the resulting 
steam, then immediately swimming in the 
river, was considered therapeutic. 

Kitchens at Rucker's Bottom were possibly 
partially open sheds. There were also perhaps 
outdoor hearths. Maybe the villagers gathered 
around these open fires at night to tell the 
important stories passed on from one genera- 
tion to the next. Europeans relayed some of 
the rich lore they heard, such as the old Cher- 
okee myth about a time just after earth's 
creation when all animals and plants were 
supposed to stay awake for seven days and 
seven nights. Only the cougar, the owl, and a 
few other animals and plants persevered until 
the week's end. Because of their endurance, 
the cougar and the owl were rewarded with 
the ability to see well at night, while the pine, 
spruce, and other evergreens were allowed to 
keep their leaves year round. The rest of the 
trees were forever forced to lose their leaves 
once a year. 

Both winter and summer houses were 
constructed at Rucker's Bottom. Researchers 
concluded that tightly-spaced postmolds found 
in well-defined patterns were remnants of 

Different Times, Different Tastes 

The last villagers to inhabit Rucker's Bottom 
used special treatments on bowl and jar rims 
more often than either the potters at the earlier 
village or those at neighboring Beaverdam Creek 
Mound. For example, they might fold the vessel 
tops or add extra strips of clay to thicken the 
rims. Often, they decorated these thickened rims 
with punctations made by punching sharp sticks 
into the clay. 

Sometimes the potters pinched the clay to 
create vertical wave designs. Occasionally, they 
added a small clay piece onto the pot sides. 
Called nodes, these projections were also some- 
times pressed with a stick for more decoration. 
A potter might also carve incised lines into the 
vessel's rim. 

Despite the broader treatment of rims at the 
second village, its pottery reflected fairly similar 
designs compared to the ceramics of the first 
village and those of the mound at Beaverdam 
Creek. The popularity of particular designs, 
however, did change over time. 

winter homes, which, like the council house, 
were covered with thick clay. Historical ac- 
counts describe such shelters with low doors 
leading into L-shaped entranceways that 
blocked cold winds. 

A cultural paradox was that the people 
admired an individual's ability to withstand 
cold and wet, but kept their winter homes 
quite warm with the combination of insulating 
clay walls and indoor hearth. The flames, 
stoked in the morning, unleashed a cloud of 
smoke, which could only partly escape 
through a single ceiling hole, making the 
interior quite smokey. By nightfall, the fire 
was reduced to hot coals covered in ashes, 
radiating heat throughout the small space. If 
temperatures dropped too much in the night, 
someone merely poked the ashes with a stick 
to expose the red coals underneath. Little 
additional warmth was needed from clothing, 
which suited the inhabitants, who preferred to 
wear as few garments as necessary. Both sexes 
usually chose not to cover their upper bodies 



rjM :m& 


\mn*\ am 4w»y 

'a»« , s ^ 

■/ .1 -a' «7 



© C"^l a 

t: % 

T3 «r ^ T 

Figure 83: Potters decorated vessel rims in many ways, sometimes folding and pinching them or adding small bits of 
clay. They used sharp sticks to punctate or etch designs. 


except in winter when they wore loose-fitting 
mantles of animal furs and skins. In warm 
months, the men wore only loin cloths, and 
the women dressed in knee-length skirts. 

Summer homes were built much simpler, 
with greater spaces between wall posts and 
only a thin clay coating, if any. In historic 
times, some houses had openings near the roof 
lines to allow in fresh air, but others had no 
openings other than entrances because of a 
desire to keep out insects. 

Excavations in one likely winter house at 
Rucker's Bottom were especially productive. 
Rectangular, with possible rounded corners, 
the dwelling left a postmold pattern measuring 
about seven-and-a-half yards long on one side 
and six-and-a-half yards on the other. Archeol- 
ogists decided that the house had been aban- 
doned, partly cleaned, and then used as a 
refuse dump. This complicated determining 
which items belonged to residents of the 
house, and which ones were merely tossed in 
later as trash. 

The locations of sherds, however, did help 
clear the picture somewhat. The most frag- 
ments were found in one side of the house 
near the door, the place where larger bowls 
and jars were apparently kept. This spot was 
probably reserved for food preparation and 
storage because animal bones and plant re- 
mains were also found there. In contrast, 
plain, undecorated fragments of the sort asso- 
ciated with bowls, small jars, and eating 
dishes, appeared throughout the structure, 
suggesting that food was consumed every- 
where in the house. 

Residents of the winter house probably 
played indoor games to amuse themselves 
because small pottery disks associated with the 
pastimes were also found. The ubiquitous, 
prehistoric activity, toolmaking, also occurred 
within the shelter because small, stone flakes 
were found. Most toolmaking at Rucker's 
Bottom, however, took place outdoors. The 
final glimpse into the residents' possible habits 
was found just outside the door. A cluster of 
bones, including skulls, from small and large 

Structure 2 and Vicinity. 

Source: Anderson and Schuldenrein 1985: 556, 
567,568,571; Scott 1985: 660 

Figure 84: A spot near the door of a probable winter house, 
identified here as Structure 2, was apparently used for preparing 
and storing food. 

animals was unearthed there, indicating that 
the people either buried or stacked at least 
some of their garbage in the spot. 

Human burial places at Rucker's Bottom 
changed over time. The earlier villagers dug 
graves throughout the community, sometimes 
below the floors of their houses, or just out- 
side the dwellings, or in the earth beneath the 
plaza. In the second village, most burials 
appeared between the middle of the settlement 
and the river. The concept of a cemetery was 
apparently developing because no graves at all 
were found in the half of the village farthest 
from the river. There were also some graves 
outside the village's ditch and fence perimeter. 

In some Mississippian communities, there 
were formal mortuary buildings placed on 
mounds or set aside by fences. Such structures 
sometimes served as enamel houses where 


corpses were kept until they deteriorated and 
only the bones remained. The bones were then 
buried. This practice was apparently not 
followed at Rucker's Bottom. 

A burial custom that was followed, at least 
in several instances, was putting the remains 
of children into clay pots. A miniature pot and 
a ceramic pin found near one of these burials 
were likely grave goods. 

Clay wares in graves were also unearthed at 
Simpson's Field on the South Carolina side of 
the study area. Investigators detected a small, 
Mississippian homestead where one or several 
dwellings once stood. Beneath the floor of an 
identified shelter, they discovered two burials. 
With one, the poorly preserved remains of a 
child about 10 years old, they found five, 
miniature pots. The pots, standing only from 
two-and-a-half to five inches tall, were well 
preserved, apart from some nicks from a plow 
which had passed over them. Despite their 
smallness, the artifacts provided good exam- 
ples of the sorts of jars, bowls, and bottles 
Mississippian people in the area used. 

The other grave at Simpson's Field, which 
belonged to a woman, held a well-preserved 
vessel of exceptional beauty in simplicity and 
form. Undecorated, the pot was about three- 

and-a-half inches tall with a square rim, rather 
than the usual circular one. The rim of the pot 
flowed upwards in places, forming peaks, 
while small clay nodes were lodged into the 
pot's sides for handles. 

Few grave artifacts appeared at Rucker's 
Bottom, suggesting an equality among the 
people which may have grown over time 
because more objects were found with earlier 
village burials. About half of the graves in the 
first village revealed goods, compared with 
about one in ten of the later settlement's 
burials. None of the objects were especially 
remarkable, and they were as likely to be 
found in the graves of females as males. Male 
burials were perhaps slightly more elaborate, 
with pots or beads predominating among the 
objects found, while the female burials tended 
to contain pins, rattles, or stone tools. The 
grave goods at both villages proved to be less 
elaborate than those found at Beaverdam 
Creek Mound where more of the elite lived. 

Individuals who did receive special burial 
attention at Rucker's Bottom included a man 
found with 500 small, perforated shells from 
the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The shells 
were probably part of a breast plate or other 
chest garment that had disintegrated. A chert 

Figure 85: Five miniature pots found at Simpson's Field included a bottle (rear, left) with punctations, and an urn- 
shaped vessel (front, far left). The rest are jars. 


arrowhead was found by his shoulder, suggest- 
ing he was buried with his bow and arrow. 

The grave of a woman about 30 was unusu- 
al because she appeared to have been placed in 
a small log tomb that had rotted away. Marks 
from short posts remained in the burial pit that 
apparently were once part of the tomb. She 
was also once wrapped in a shroud that left 
stains in the soil as it disintegrated. A small, 
battered rock, a tool of some sort, was also in 
her grave. 

Archeologists noticed that some burials 
appeared to be clustered close to one another, 
perhaps reflecting family or clan ties, and that 
the majority of corpses were arranged in 
partial fetal positions. There was, however, a 

notable exception. Three, outstretched skele- 
tons were discovered sharing a single grave. 
Facing upward and lying side by side, the 
remains included those of a child about six or 
seven and a woman between 25 and 30. Her 
arm rested on the chest of the third skeleton, 
the age and sex of which could not be deter- 
mined. If this was a male, the three may 
represent a family that died together, perhaps 
through disease or possibly as victims of a 
raiding party from a rival chiefdom. 

Altogether, archeologists discovered mere 
than 100 burials in the two villages. A sample 
of 24 burials was closely studied by scientists 
at Wake Forest University, under the direction 
of David Weaver. They determined that only 

Figure 86: A pot found with a woman's grave at Simpson's Field measured less than four inches tall. The 
square rims ended in unusual peaks, and there were nodes on the sides for handles. 





BUR/ALS 19 80 21 
1 MAY 1882 




Figure 87: Three skeletons, maybe a family who died together, were found. Archeologists treat human burials 
respectfully, typically reburying remains if descendants are found and request it. 


Figure 88: Two punctated node* are visible near the rim of a Mississippian pot 
found in the Gregg Shoals excavations. 

about a third of the people lived past age 30. 
They also learned that the villagers suffered 
much more serious dental problems and bone 
diseases than those buried at Beaverdam Creek 

Dental disease often became so acute that it 
spread sickness to bones throughout the body, 
sometimes causing death. Bone tests showed 
frequent evidence of osteophytes, abnormal 
growths, and osteomyelitis, infection and 
inflammation of bone marrow. In contrast, the 
only serious dental problems at the mound site 
occurred in a few adult women, and were 
probably caused by the stresses of pregnancy. 

These skeletal analyses established that 
Rucker's Bottom residents weren't as healthy 
as those at the ceremonial center, perhaps 
because the elite at the mound enjoyed a 
superior diet. The studies also uncovered other 
facts. Women at both the mound and villages 
averaged a little over five feet tall, while men 
from the villages stood about five-and-a-half 

feet tall. Based on a small number of samples, 
men at the mound possibly were slightly taller, 
perhaps another indication of superior living 

Residents of the early village at Rucker's 
Bottom depended on a variety of food sources, 
including fish, small mammals, and shellfish 
caught in the Savannah River and Van Creek. 
Bone chemistry analysis detected higher zinc 
levels in their burial remains than in those of 
the later villagers, indicating they ate more 

When the second village existed, fewer 
smaller animals were eaten, and deer became 
more important. A possible explanation is that 
the later people spent more time farming and 
building defenses, so when they hunted, they 
pursued primarily bigger game that would 
provide the most meat for their efforts. Roast- 
ing deer legs over an open fire was a popular 
way for them to prepare food. 

Disposed bones from game were often 


i Sfeai - 

Mississippian Complicated Stamped Design Motifs from the Rucker's Bottom site, 9EB9 1 
a Nested Diamonds; b Filfot Scroll; c Line Block; d-i Herring Bone; j Ladder; l-q Concentric 
Circles, k Quartered Circles; o Bisected Circles. 

Figure 89: Many Mississippian designs were found on Rucker's Bottom ceramics. 


gnawed by animals, presumably dogs, but 
surprisingly no dog remains were uncovered. 
Interestingly, some of the gnawed bones came 
from bears. Later Indians probably wouldn't 
have allowed their dogs to chew bear bones 
because they believed the bear's spirit would 
come back to haunt them and bring misfor- 
tune on their people. In the same vein, Indian 
hunters asked most animals for forgiveness 
before they killed them, and any hunter who 
omitted this ritual risked illness caused by the 
animal's angry spirit. 

Many turkey and turtle remains surfaced at 
both villages, although the turtles were proba- 
bly more important for their shells, which 
were used for containers and rattles. Residents 
of both villages also ate the same wild plant 
foods such as hickory nuts, acorns, maypops, 
and grapes. But corn was perhaps the only 
crop both settlements grew. Yet, for the later 
villagers, who may have grown more corn 
because of a greater population, corn was 
proportionally less important in their diets. 
Instead, the later villagers apparently ate many 
more acorns than the earlier inhabitants. 

This jump in acorn consumption was sur- 
prising because acorns require considerable 
preparation before they are edible. Unlike 
hickory nuts, which were apparently eaten less 
often by the later villagers, acorns have a 
shorter storage life and deliver less food for 
the effort required. Acorns had to be boiled to 
remove bitter tannic acid, then pounded into a 
pulp, which was dried to form meal. 

Josselyn Moore of the University of Michi- 
gan theorized that to grow more corn, villag- 
ers had to clear more fields. As they leveled 
fields for planting, they probably eliminated 
many hickory trees in the process. Then, when 
the fields were eventually allowed to lay 
fallow, the first trees to take root were pines, 
followed by acorn-bearing oaks. Only in older 
forests did the hickories grow. The consump- 
tion of so many acorns probably also meant 
that the later villagers weren't producing 
enough food for their needs. In historical 
times, Indians ate acorns to ward off starvation 
when other foods were scarce. 

There were also other signs, besides the 
bone diseases that plagued them and their 
struggle for adequate food, that the people of 
both villages didn't have easy lives. Many of 
the animal bones found had been broken or 
hacked into pieces, apparently to fit into 
cooking pots. This indicated cooks were 
struggling to squeeze every possible morsel, 
including marrow, from the bones. 

Perhaps the villagers eventually gave up the 
struggle altogether and moved somewhere far 
beyond the Savannah River in hopes of finding 
better conditions. This is one possible explana- 
tion for their abrupt disappearance. Whatever 
the cause, with the end of the second village at 
Rucker's Bottom, a stretch of repeated human 
existence on the river bluff, beginning with 
Paleolndians of the Ice Age and continuing 
throughout much of prehistory, came to a 


Large Vessel Fragments or Intact Vessels from the Mississippian Components at the 
Rucker's Bottom site, 9EB91 . a,b,d Plain vessels; c Savannah Check Stamped; e-g Compli- 
cated stamped vessels, g has corncob impressions below the rim. 

Figure 90: Mississippian pots, like these from Rucker's Bottom, were often much bigger than earlier vessels. 


Figure 91: Etowah Mounds flourished during the Mississippian era. This mound, with the Etowah River in the 
backdrop, was excavated and rebuilt to appear as it did when the Indians used it. 


Chapter 10: Conquistadors and a Princess 

a.d. 1450 to 1600 
The Transition Era 

While only one ceremonial mound was 
excavated in the Russell investigations, there 
were others spread out along the Savannah 
River and its tributaries. The elite at these 
various mound centers wielded considerable 
power over the Mississippian people, but, like 
the Beaverdam Creek Mound, many of these 
centers were abandoned for reasons that can 
only be conjectured. 

A few of the mound centers began function- 
ing earlier than the one near Beaverdam 
Creek; others existed closer to the time of the 
reservoir mound; while still others flourished 
later. Perhaps the importance of one center 
declined and another increased because of the 
death of a leader or the emergence of a new 
leader elsewhere who had greater military skill 
or charisma. 

During the waning years of the center at 
Beaverdam Creek, for example, use of elabo- 
rate grave goods may have declined, indicating 
that the elite became impoverished. A similar 
reduction of burial artifacts occurred at a 
mound called Hollywood near Augusta, Geor- 
gia. At that mound's peak, notables were 
buried with such riches as copper plates with 
figures of men in eagle costumes, a beaker 
engraved with rattlesnakes, and a smoking 
pipe with the bowl sitting in a carved human 

Just before the entire lower Savannah River 
area emptied of people, three ceremonial 
centers apparently dominated— Rembert, near 
the Russell Reservoir area; Silver Bluff, in 
South Carolina near present-day Augusta; and 
Irene, near the city of Savannah on Georgia's 
Atlantic Coast. 

Of the three mound centers, the most is 
known about Irene. Located about 170 miles 

south of the Beaverdam Creek site, Irene had 
two mounds, as well as a rectangular building 
possibly used as a mortuary. There was also a 
council house, which was about 40 yards in 
diameter. Early pioneers described both Rem- 
bert and Silver Bluff as substantial centers as 
well, with each having several mounds. But 
plowing in the mid- 1 800 's destroyed much of 
the mounds before archeologists could thor- 
oughly examine them. Even so, Rembert still 
yielded many artifacts. 

People departed from all three cen- 
ters—Irene, Rembert, and Silver Bluff— about 
the same time, when much of the Savannah 
River territory was abandoned. There are 
indications that a wide swath of western South 
Carolina was deserted then, too. Insight into a 
probable cause for the exodus came with the 
discovery of the intensified fortifications for 
the second village at Rucker's Bottom: Mili- 
tary defenses suggest rising tensions and 
outright war. 

Growing dependence on river floodplains 
for farming, and increasing numbers of people 
competing for that land, fueled Mississippian 
conflicts, thinks Lewis Larson. Larson exca- 
vated the major mound site north of Atlanta, 
Georgia, called Etowah, which was protected 
similarly to Rucker's Bottom with fortifica- 

Indisputably, the population had been 
steadily increasing along the Savannah River 
during the Mississippian years; both the num- 
ber of places in the reservoir area where 
Indians spent time and the quantity of objects 
they left behind steadily grew as years passed. 
Because of the growing population, people 
could no longer freely rove wherever they 
liked. No longer could they establish a home- 


stead, and then move easily somewhere else if 
neighbors settled too close or in some other 
way were irksome. Long-term claims were 
now staked on fertile stretches of land; and 
walking away to avoid a dispute was less of an 

Jockeying for power and its rewards among 
ceremonial centers likely contributed to the 
escalating tensions. Important matters were at 
stake and worth fighting for because the 
strength and reach of a ceremonial center's 
authority influenced followers' access to the 
best farmland and hunting territories and their 
ease in using trade routes. And, for some lea- 
ders, perhaps ambition flared to rule more 
subjects and to win more tributes of food and 
valued objects from them. 

Defensive palisades and ditches aside, 
however, the Russell studies didn't reveal 
other signs of battle. No burned house sup- 
ports or singed stockade posts were found, for 
example. However, since a comparatively 
small area was examined, more excavations 
might produce concrete evidence of fighting. 

Possibly there were other factors involved 
in the abandonment of so much territory near 
the Savannah River. Research by David An- 
derson and others has recently provided more 
clues as to what might have happened. Nature, 
for instance, could have played a detrimental 
role in residents' lives. Scientists from the 
University of Arkansas Tree Ring Laboratory 
studying ancient cypress tree trunks detected a 
slight drop in average rainfall in southwestern 
South Carolina during the period. Rain may 
have decreased enough throughout the region 
to cause increased crop failures, which would 
have hit the agriculturally-dependent inhabit- 
ants hard. Certainly, the evidence showed that 
villagers at Rucker's Bottom struggled to feed 

Adding a bit more to the picture of what 
might have happened was the rise of two 
important chiefdoms— the Ocute in central 
Georgia and the Cofitachequi in central and 
eastern South Carolina. Both chiefdoms be- 
came important about the same time that the 

Figure 92: "The Falcon Warrior," carved on a copper plate, 
carries a severed head or head rattle and a ceremonial mace. 
The drawing completes missing pieces of the Figure depicted on 
the next page. 

reservoir area emptied of people. Scientists 
have also determined that the Ocute experi- 
enced a big population jump that could have 
resulted from an influx of people who for- 
merly lived near the Savannah River. Bolster- 
ing this theory was the discovery by Jerald 
Ledbetter and Jack Wynn of pottery within 
Ocute boundaries decorated similarly to ce- 
ramics used along the Savannah River before 
the abandonment. But much more research is 
required to justify the conclusion that reservoir 
area inhabitants moved into the Ocute chief- 
dom's territory. 

A few mound centers at the headwaters of 
the Savannah, for some reason, continued to 
be occupied even after most of the river was 
abandoned. These centers in north Georgia 
and northern South Carolina remained active 
even into historic times, when they became 
Cherokee villages. Among them were Chauga 
in South Carolina, about 37 miles north of the 


Figure 93: The copper Figure, found at Etowah Mounds, wears an elaborate ceremonial headdress. 


Figure 94: A pair of carved marble statues of a man and woman, 
still showing red paint, were found in an Etowah burial. 

mouth of Beaverdam Creek; and, nearby in 
Georgia, Tugalo and Estatoe. 

But from those points south along the 
Savannah all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, 
people apparently disappeared from all other 
mound centers, villages, and homesteads. 
Soon the land was reclaimed by the brush and 
trees until little remained to suggest that once 
thousands of people had considered the area 
home. In fact, the Spanish found the land near 
the Savannah River so desolate that they 
referred to it as a desert. 

Those inhabitants the Spanish did encounter 
when they arrived in the sixteenth century may 
have wished they had gone undiscovered as 
well. The explorers' appearance led to kidnap- 
ping, robbery, disease, and death for many of 
the Indians. For their part, the Spanish also 
suffered. Many of them died in battles or from 

sickness and hunger. Peace was more impor- 
tant to some than others among both the 
Spanish and the native people. But their cul- 
tures were so alien to one another, differences 
compounded by language barriers, that even 
those of good will must have been hard 
pressed to determine friend from foe. Once 
blood spilled, revenge, hate, and fear easily 
overrode any restraint. 

For the Indians, seeing a Spanish ship 
appear on the horizon, billowing sails spread 
like some giant bird's wings, must have been 
awe-inspiring, a feeling magnified when the 
passengers aboard came into focus. The metal 
helmets, favored by some conquistadors, 
glinting in the sunlight, must have fascinated 
the Indians. They must have also stared 
uncomprehendingly at the foreigners' shoes 
and other clothing, which included heavily 
quilted material worn as armor. Imagine what 
they must have thought when the ship reached 
shore and the Spanish lowered the gangplank 
to lead off their horses. The Indians had never 
seen a horse before. To climb on the back of 
such a creature and force it to obey your will 
must have given the Spanish enormous power 
in the Indians' eyes. 

If they were afraid of these remarkable 
strangers, however, many overcame their fear 
and welcomed the Spanish with gifts and 
feasting. But their friendly gestures often were 
rewarded with treachery. The Spanish had 
braved the dangers of an unknown land to 
seek great wealth, and some were willing to 
do almost anything to obtain it. 

One of the first expeditions to arrive in 
South Carolina was directed by such an ambi- 
tious man, Lucas Vazquez de Allyon. His 
conquistadors, who arrived in 1521, gained 
the confidence of a group of Indians, then 
invited them aboard their two ships. Once the 
Indians were on the ships and unable to es- 
cape, they were taken hostage. The Spanish 
intended to sell the captives as slaves at His- 
paniola, the island now called the Dominican 
Republic. But as they crossed the ocean, one 
ship sank, drowning everyone aboard. Condi- 


Hiwassee Island 

miles 100 
AD. 1100- 1200 

miles 100 
A.D. 1350-1400 

miles 100 
A.D. 1540 

Map 12: Hypothetical chiefdom boundaries in the South Atlantic Region illustrate the expansion and subsequent 
disappearance of these societies in the Savannah River Valley. 


Figure 95: Hernando de Soto was among the earliest 
territory in his quest for gold. The search ultimately 

tions aboard the other vessel steadily deterio- 
rated. The Indians refused to eat the unfamil- 
iar Spanish food, and many became ill and 
died. Survivors were so pitiable that when the 
ship finally reached Hispaniola, Spanish au- 
thorities set them free. De Allyon, however, 
kept one slave for himself, whom he took to 
Europe for display. 

De Allyon returned to South Carolina in 
1526 with the goal of establishing a colony, 
but illness and food shortages doomed the 

Hernando de Soto was the next Spaniard 
the Indians in South Carolina and Georgia 
met, and the results were equally disastrous 
for many of them. Already rich after partici- 
pating in the plunder of the Incas in Peru, de 

Europeans to visit Georgia and South Carolina 
cost him his life and the lives of many others. 

Soto desired even more wealth. He was sure 
gold existed in the land that is now the United 
States, and gathered around him a formidable 
army to help him find it. 

His entrada, as the exploration is called, 
involved an entourage of more than 600 men, 
as well as sundry servants and slaves. They 
brought with them over 200 horses and many 
pigs. They planned to butcher the swine as 
needed for food. Massive Irish wolfhounds 
accompanied the explorers to serve a more 
sinister purpose. 

De Soto's army landed at Tampa Bay in 
"La Florida" in 1539. They fought many 
skirmishes with Indians along the way, before 
finally arriving near Tallahassee, where they 
spent the winter, continuing to battle Indians 


Fragments of the Past 

The earthen pyramid dominates the landscape, towering 60 feet over a quiet, pastoral setting along the 
winding Black Warrior River. So massive is the pyramid, built by human hands alone, that its base covers 
two acres. There is a steep climb to the top, but the effort is rewarded with a spectacular view of many 
of the 19 other smaller earthworks forming what was once one of the most powerful communities in North 

Mound State Monument, a National Historic Landmark in west central Alabama, once was home to 
possibly 3,000 people between A.D. 1000 and 1500. Excavations by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 
the 1930's revealed more than 2,500 ancient human burials and 1,000 whole ceramic vessels. Today, a 
museum built by the National Park Service, along with village and temple reconstructions, help explain the 
Mississippian customs practiced by the long-vanished residents. 

Not far from the mounds, the thousands of artifacts, soil samples, archeologists' notes, and other 
materials accumulated during the Russell investigations are stored. The Alabama State Museum of Natural 
History houses the collection in a repository designed to protect the irreplaceable. Here, within a 
windowless building where humidity and temperature are perpetually controlled and monitored, the findings 
of years of research by hundreds of scientists are organized into orderly rows of boxes. The University of 
Alabama won the contract to store the collection in Moundville by offering a facility with few equals. 

Safeguarding the materials is crucial to substantiate what was learned and to preserve vital information 
for future researchers. As scientific methods improve, new insights may be culled from the exhaustive 
documentation from the years of the Russell studies. The findings are acutely indispensable because many 
of the locations examined are now under water. The many maps, statistical studies, geologic repo:ts, 
photographs, and artifacts will help later experts visualize the lost sites for their own analyses. Eventually, 
their efforts may solve more of the mysteries of prehistoric and historic life along the Savannah River. 

Cataloguing the mountain of data required endless hours, according to Eugene Futato, museum senior 
research archeologist. Researchers, like everyone else, vary in their degrees of neatness, and when their 
various boxes of documents and specimens arrived, peering into them "was like going through peoples' 
underwear drawers. You find out who's organized and who's not," he says, smiling. By the end of the 
curators' work, however, all disorganization was gone. Inventories were made and numbers assigned to 
separate findings from different sites. Documents were also arranged by number, and filed in special acid- 
free folders to protect them. These, along with specimens numbered and stored in small bags, fill several 
hundred, low-acid boxes designed expressly for the museum. Computer records detail the contents and 
origins of individual boxes, as well as the photographs and other objects kept apart for even more stringent 

Motion sensors, locks, and alarms are in place to thwart any thieves intent on plundering the collection. 
The temperature and humidity controls, smoke and gas alarms, sprinkler system, and many fire 
extinguishers guard against other dangers, in a concentrated effort to secure precious fragments of the past 
for the future. 

and finding no gold. In the spring, they set out 
for Georgia, led by Florida Indians, including 
a boy of 17 named Perico. Guiding de Soto 
was a perilous job, because if he became 
displeased he unleashed the wolfhounds. 
Trained to be vicious, the beasts would maim 
or kill the offending guide. 

Perico was perhaps less vulnerable to such 
treatment because of his value as a translator. 
He spoke a language that a Spaniard who 
served under de Soto understood. When the 

explorers encountered a new group of Indians, 
Perico was often summoned to talk with them, 
then to translate for the Spaniard who con- 
veyed the information to de Soto. Sometimes 
a chain of Indian translators was used, passing 
along ideas in different languages until they 
could be translated into a language understood 
by the Spaniard. Doubtlessly, meaning was 
lost and misunderstood in the mix of tongues, 
but Perico was important nonetheless. It was 
he who triggered the march north when he 


Atlantic Ocean 

Sow 1539- 1543 

..« Uuu l))9 1361 

Ptido 1165 1367 

Map 13: The trail followed by Hernando de Soto's army is traced in the solid dark line. 

told de Soto of gold he could find towards the 
east among a people he called the Yupaha. 

Perico claimed to have traveled widely with 
traders, and that he had once lived with the 
Yupaha, whose leader, he said, was a woman, 
a chieftainess. Yupaha was apparently another 
name for the Indians of Cofitachequi, the 
second important chiefdom that arose in South 
Carolina at the same time as the Ocute in 
Georgia. Historians have determined that the 
two chiefdoms were enemies. 

Much is known about de Soto's travels 
because several participants recorded the 
details, including Rodrigo Ranjel, secretary to 
the Spanish leader. Prehistory, the time when 
there were no written records, was coming to 
a close. With the arrival of the Spanish and 
their writing, history in the Southeast began to 
be recorded. 

The route historians think de Soto followed 
has recently undergone revisions as a result of 
work by Charles Hudson, Chester DePratter, 
and Marvin Smith, among others. Their re- 

search has also synthesized much of what we 
know about de Soto. Their assessment of de 
Soto's route, though not universally accepted, 
differs from earlier judgments that the entrada 
passed close to the Russell Reservoir; in their 
view, the area was bypassed. 

Whatever their exact path, the Spaniards' 
incursion into Georgia and South Carolina had 
such impact that the effects reverberated for 
miles. From all accounts, de Soto was a brutal 
man. Unlike some of his countrymen who 
traded with the Indians for food and other 
needs, de Soto used force and intimidation to 
get what he wanted. He needlessly burned 
many villages and often humiliated the chiefs, 
enslaving them and forcing them to accompany 
him as a guarantee of safe passage. He de- 
manded women for his soldiers, and bearers 
for supplies, and ordered these slaves bound in 
chains to prevent their escape. As a final 
reminder of his conquest, he planted Christian 
crosses atop the Indian's sacred ceremonial 


Soon after de Soto entered south Georgia, 
he encountered a swollen river, probably the 
Flint, which had to be crossed. The effort took 
days. The men built a barge, which they 
pulled back and forth across the raging water 
by using a chain tethered on the banks of both 
sides. The chain was made up of many smaller 
chains, which were normally used to bind the 
Indians. Twice this makeshift device came 
undone, endangering many lives. Eventually, 
however, the entire party of soldiers and 
attendants reached the other side. 

Traveling north, they reached central Geor- 
gia by the end of March, near where Macon is 
today. From there, they continued northeast, 
finding a mound center near present-day 
Milledgeville. The leader of this settlement 
was aligned with the powerful chief Ocute, the 
strongest authority for miles. Ocute lived north 
along the Oconee River between Milledgeville 
and Madison. De Soto sent word for this great 
chief to meet him, and Ocute complied. Then 
the two men and their followers traveled 
together along the Oconee River until they 
reached Ocute' s headquarters. The remnants of 
those headquarters may exist at one of several 
archeological sites, possibly at a place called 
Shoulderbone, which has five mounds, one of 
them 40 feet tall. Some experts think that the 
descendants of those who once lived in the 
Russell Reservoir area were among Ocute' s 

Supplied by Ocute with food and bearers, 

de Soto this time left a cross in the chief's 
village plaza, not on a mound, when he de- 

The Spanish army was again travelling 
northward, still seeking the promised gold of 
Cofitachequi, when the Indian guide Perico 
suddenly fell to the ground, foaming at the 
mouth. The frightened Spanish held an exor- 
cism to rid the boy of the evil spirit they 
thought possessed him. Perico recovered, but 
soon a greater calamity befell them all. 

The boy said they would find the land of 
gold just four days away to the east. But 
others among the Indians warned that nothing 
but unoccupied land existed in that direction, 
and any who risked the journey would starve. 
De Soto chose to believe Perico. Patofa, an 
Ocute war chief, and his warriors joined the 
Spanish for the trip east. (Indians often had 
separate chiefs for war and peace.) Patofa and 
his band hoped to win revenge against their 
enemies, the Cofitachequi, and de Soto must 
have welcomed them, thinking they could help 
him find the elusive gold belonging to their 

But Patofa and his warriors were little help 
in finding either their enemies or gold. Four 
arduous days passed in a forbidding land the 
Spanish derided as "the desert of Ocute," with 
no sign of the Cofitachequi. Food quickly ran 
short, just as they had been warned it would. 
Things worsened on the fifth day when they 
reached the Savannah River, which they called 

Figure 96: Mississippian arrowheads in the Savannah River region are typically small, sharp, and triangular 


"un grandisimo rio. " If they were to continue 
their search for gold, they had to ford the 
river. The horsemen probably crossed south of 
the Russell area near Augusta, where the river 
divided and swept around an island. Stepping 
stones here and there eased the way, but the 
water was so deep in some places that it 
reached the horses' stirrups and saddlebags. 
Currents were also swift, and swept away and 
drowned some of the pigs the soldiers drove 
along beside them. Foot soldiers struggled 
their way across farther north after tieing 
themselves together in a human chain 30 to 40 
feet long. 

By the time everyone reached South Caroli- 
na on the other side, their situation was des- 
perate. They had to find food. De Soto com- 
manded everyone to speed up to double time, 
until they were covering nearly 30 miles a 
day, compared to the usual 17. They met more 
rivers swollen by spring rains and had to stop 
and again expend precious energy to build 
barges for crossing. 

By late April, nine days after leaving the 
last Ocute village, they reached the juncture of 
the Saluda and Broad Rivers where they 
converge into the Congaree River, near pres- 
ent-day Columbia, South Carolina. Unknow- 
ingly, they had reached the outskirts of the 
Cofitachequi territory; Perico was right after 
all, even if he had sorely miscalculated the 
distance. Unaware of how close they were to 
the chiefdom, the Spanish were hopelessly 
lost, and found only a few hunting or fishing 
shacks. De Soto by now realized that the 
Ocute war chief, Patofa, had no idea where to 
find his enemies. The conflicts between the 
two chiefdoms, unlike the battles familiar to 
Europeans, had apparently consisted mostly of 
skirmishes involving hunting bands in buffer 
zones between the two territories, not outright 

Rain continued to raise rivers and creeks as 
the soldiers floundered for several more days. 
Finally, on April 25, a scout returned with 
word of finding a village called Aymay. The 
expedition soon reached the village after 

struggling nearly 130 miles since leaving the 
last Ocute settlement. Aymay, where the Span- 
ish found enough corn to sustain them for a 
time, was under the dominion of the Cofi- 
tachequi, who controlled great sweeps of land 
in South Carolina, perhaps virtually the entire 
eastern half, as well as parts of North Caroli- 
na. Their leader was a woman who inspired 
deep loyalty, even unto death. At least one of 
her followers at Aymay refused to tell de Soto 
the woman's location or any other information 
about her, even when de Soto tortured and 
burned the man to death. 

The Ocute war chief, Patofa, and his band 
engaged in similar behaviors, raiding several 
villages, looting and desecrating temples, and 
killing and scalping everyone they could find. 
Then they left for home, parting company with 
the Spanish, their taste for revenge sated. 

De Soto eventually found his way to the 
outskirts of the Cofitachequi power center near 
present-day Camden, South Carolina. He 
camped alongside a river, likely the Wateree, 
and sent emissaries across to secure canoes for 
his crossing, as well as translators. Soon, the 
Lady of Cofitachequi— the chieftainess or a 
relative, accounts vary— crossed over to wel- 
come him. The spectacle was described in 
detail by de Soto's secretary Ranjel: 

"...and the chief Indians came with gifts and the 
woman chief, lady of that land whom Indians of rank 
bore on their shoulders with much respect, in a litter 
covered with delicate white linen. And she crossed in 
the canoes and spoke to the Governor (de Soto) quite 
gracefully and at her ease. 

"She was a young girl of fine bearing; and she took 
off a string of pearls which she wore on her neck, and 
put it on the Governor as a necklace to show her favour 
and to gain his good will. 

"And all the army crossed over in canoes and they 
received many presents of skins well tanned and 
blankets, all very good; and countless strips of venison 
and dry wafers, and an abundance of very good salt. 

"All the Indians went clothed, down to their feet 
with very fine skins well dressed, and blankets of the 
country, and blankets of sable fur and others of the skin 
of wildcats which gave out a strong smell. The people 
are very clean and polite and naturally well condi- 


After The Digging Ends 

A zooarcheologist picked up a container the size of a shoe box and carried it to a table, where she 
removed the lid and delicately picked out an animal bone a little bigger than a thumbnail. Tiny black 
numbers were inked on the bone surface, identifying marks that help keep this particular specimen from 
being mistakenly filed with thousands of others resting on shelves. The zooarcheologist performs a crucial 
task determining which animals humans ate in the past and coexisted with, knowledge gained through 
detailed scientific analysis in a laboratory at the University of Georgia. 

The work is frequently overlooked when laurels are distributed for archeological achievement. Yet, 
without the efforts of people like Elizabeth Reitz, chief zooarcheologist for the Beaverdam Creek Mound 
excavations, and Kay Wood, laboratory director for research at the site, strides in tracking the human past 
would be much fewer. Reitz, for example, has written many papers for national journals about findings 
during the Russell investigations. 

Zooarcheologists do their work after specimens arrive from the field where archeologists have labeled 
bones and bone fragments so that their locations in excavations won't be forgotten or confused. This data 
becomes important in determining the years, and even the seasons, sites were occupied. Zooarcheologists 
use the same identifying numbers in their reports, another measure to ensure the complete accuracy that 
is the foundation of all good science. 

Once they are sorted into classes, genus, and species, bones are compared with others in the lab 
collection that have already been thoroughly identified. Through such comparisons, an expert can 
sometimes tell if a bone came from a male or female, or whether it belonged to a juvenile, subadolescent, 
adolescent, or adult animal. Some bones of mammals fuse with maturity, so the extent of the fusion, or 
epiphysis, is a sign of the animal's age. Also, immature bone is often porous and spongy. Sex of a chicken 
can be determined because males have claws or spurs on the tarsometatarsus bone and females don't. But 
often a zooarcheologist is presented with far less recognizable bones or only small bone fragments. In those 
cases, many trips to the shelves are necessary for comparison bones before a positive identification can be 

A sensitive electronic scale capable of measuring to within one-hundredth of a gram is used to gauge 
the quantity of bones from each species in the samples from archeological sites. This information is useful 
in learning how common one type of animal might have been. 

The university's lab collection, while extensive, is being expanded to contain the broadest range of 
Southeastern species possible. Skeletons from recently deceased animals are enclosed for a time with live 
beetles, which consume any remaining flesh that might go undetected by the human eye. Among animal 
skeletons being acquired are those of wild pigs from the Southeastern coast because the bones of domestic 
hogs are all but unrecognizable from those of long ago. Chickens and cows have undergone similar 
transformations, apparently caused primarily by forced rapid growth from hormone additives. 

When de Soto asked to see their fine met- 
als, the Indians obligingly produced copper 
and large pieces of mica, but no gold or 
silver. The Spaniard refused to believe no gold 
existed among the Cofitachequi, and led his 
men to search the chiefdom's sacred town. 
Called Talimeco, this once thriving settlement 
of 500 houses was deserted, perhaps because 
of plague. The Indians told the Spanish that 
disease had swept through their people two 
years earlier, causing them to abandon several 
settlements. Not all experts agree, however, 

that a recent plague had prompted the deser- 
tions, but think that the towns were abandoned 
much earlier. 

De Soto and his soldiers climbed the temple 
mound where a large building stood beneath a 
high roof encrusted with strings of pearls and 
conch shells. They walked through an entrance 
guarded by six pairs of wooden, life-size hu- 
man statues. Each statue pair held a different 
set of weapons, as if ready to attack intruders. 
Overhead, the ceiling was studded with more 
pearls and shells similar to those decorating 


the outside. 

More statues of men and women were 
found farther inside the temple, while along 
the walls, there were ornate chests holding the 
skeletal remains of former leaders. Other 
chests brimmed with freshwater pearls, furs, 
and animal skins. Adjoining rooms disclosed 
still more treasures— ceremonial weapons 
adorned with strings of pearls and strips of 
leather and copper. But no gold. 

De Soto and his followers stole as much as 
they could carry, then abducted the Lady of 
Cofitachequi as insurance against attack before 
setting out northward away from her territory. 
They traveled for about two weeks, moving 
into the high mountains near Asheville, North 
Carolina. Then, on a cold May day, the Lady 
of Cofitachequi managed to escape, taking 
with her a box of the finest pearls de Soto and 
his men had stolen from the sacred temple. 

De Soto pressed on in his fruitless search 
for gold for some months more, climbing 
through the mountains of North Carolina and 
into northwest Georgia, then crossing into 
Alabama. He continued kidnapping Indian 
leaders along the way, a tactic that usually 
prevented attack, but not always. Thousands of 
Indians mounted a surprise assault against the 
Spanish in south central Alabama as de Soto's 
caravan approached the gates of Mabila, a 
well-fortified Indian settlement. Mabila 1 s 
stockade fence supported a series of towers 50 
feet high. In every tower, there were seven 
and eight Indians who unleashed their arrows 
against de Soto's army. 

The startled Spanish were successfully 
repelled outside the gates. Nevertheless, their 
weapons— thick, quilted armor and especially 
their horses— gave them advantages that even 
an almost suicidal Indian attack, which the 
fight eventually became, could not defeat. 
Arrowheads would not penetrate the Span- 
iard's protective coverings, so the Indians had 

to hit the soldiers' heads and necks to kill 
them, and even the fleetest Indian attacker 
couldn't outrun a horse. Knowing this, the 
Indians tried to kill as many of the animals as 
they could, managing to destroy about 40. 

The bloody fight raged for hours, with 
heavy casualties. Estimates range from 2,500 
to 5,000 dead among the Indians, and 20 
Spaniards. Almost all of de Soto's troops were 
injured, and 20 more died later from battle 
wounds. The Spanish also suffered other 
losses: All of the booty plundered from Cofi- 
tachequi and elsewhere was gone, as well as 
much of their food and other supplies, includ- 
ing clothing. 

Still, De Soto persisted, trying to salvage 
some value from his costly venture as he 
pushed back north. But after Mabila, his army 
was subjected to frequent Indian attacks, many 
of them at night. De Soto finally lost his 
relentless drive and became despondent. He 
caught a fever, which lead to his death in May 
1542, on the western side of the Mississippi 

For four years, de Soto's army had all but 
fruitlessly explored the interior regions of the 
Southeast. After they departed, the area re- 
mained largely unvisited by Europeans for the 
next 150 years. During this time, the powerful 
Mississippian chiefdom societies, which once 
had existed throughout the region, collapsed, 
primarily from disease and other stresses 
introduced by the early explorers. There were 
a few other European visitors not long after de 
Soto, primarily Spanish and French pioneers 
who tried with little success to colonize or 
establish Catholic missions along the coast of 
Georgia and South Carolina. 

Within the Russell area, however, for 
decade after decade, the only human life 
present came when Indians entered to 
hunt. Nobody claimed the land for a long, 
long while— but the British were coming. 



The Historic People 

Figure 97: An unidentified family, with a pet dog and two kittens, posed in the Russell Reservoir study area around 
1910. Lives of many such families were examined by historians and other experts. 


Figure 98: Charleston, South Carolina, was the first English settlement in the state. Slave trading of Indians and Blacks 
thrived soon after colonists arrived. Many historic homes remain today. 


Chapter 1 1 : Land of Promise 

1600 to 1776 

The first permanent British settlement in 
South Carolina began with the arrival in 1670 
at Albermarle Point of 150 people who quickly 
established a waterfront community they called 
Charles Town, later renamed Charleston. 
Funded by the Proprietors, investors who, in 
effect, owned the settlement because their 
money was at stake, Charles Town soon grew 
into the seat of power for the entire region. 

This early English beachhead bore no 
resemblance to the graceful collection of 
stately homes and promenades that make 
Charleston famous today. The first enterpris- 
ing families found themselves in a wilderness 
nearly surrounded by Indians, as foreign to 
them as they were to the Indians. Yet, for the 
most part, relations were at first cordial as 
trading between them soon became common- 

Most of the early colonists were hard- 
working farmers, but many soon learned that 
bartering with Indians was the path to faster 
fortune. British and French traders, generally 
a rough and tumble lot, discovered the value 
of furs and animal skins, which the Indians 
could abundantly produce. The traders also 
valued another commodity— the Indians them- 
selves as slaves. Traditionally barterers, the 
Indians adapted quickly to exchanges with the 
White men. One of the prizes the White trad- 
ers had to offer in return were guns, a weapon 
that would change the Indians' lives forever. 

Many of the Indians stopped hunting deer 
for the animals' many uses as food, bone 
tools, and clothing, and began to slaughter 
them only for their hides, leaving the flesh and 
bones to rot in the forest. In 1707 alone, 
121,355 deer skins were exported from South 
Carolina, the result of an enormous and un- 
precedented slaughter that began in the late 
1600's and lasted about 100 years, according 

to anthropologist Charles Hudson. 

For animal skins and furs, the Indians 
received the guns that gave them more equal 
footing with Whites, as well as other objects 
which they greatly desired. They especially 
wanted the radiant glass beads so unlike their 
own shell jewelry. Metal hatchets that made 
their stone tools seem cumbersome and inept 
were also popular, along with English cloth 
and buttons, which led to another alteration in 
the Indians' lives: They changed their way of 
dress to match what they saw Whites wear. 

Quickly, trade with the Indians became a 
thriving business in the new colony, and 
continued to be the dominant enterprise during 
most of the 1700's, producing the first for- 
tunes in the New World. As South Carolina 
slowly expanded and more settlers moved 
inland, the slave market became especially 
lucrative. White traders enlisted the help of 
Indians in capturing slaves by capitalizing on 
long-standing disputes among different groups. 
Now, on raids of their enemies, the Indians 
took hostages in numbers far beyond any they 
had taken before, captives whom they turned 
over to the traders for guns, bullets, powder, 
and other items. Indians from South Carolina 
wanted the weaponry so much that they trav- 
eled as far as Mississippi and Florida to catch 
slaves to exchange for guns. 

Not everyone approved of the role the 
immigrants were playing in this flesh trade, 
including the Proprietors, who sought to 
minimize the practice with an edict in 1677 
ordering that only the colonial government 
could engage in Indian trade. Some colonists, 
particularly those closest to the far reaches of 
the frontier, where they had a clear view of 
the havoc slavery was creating among the 
Indians, also opposed the slave trade. But 
other settlers resented any interference, and 


persisted despite the Proprietors' order. 

Indians by no means were the only people 
to suffer bondage at the hands of Whites. The 
census of South Carolina for 1708 reported 
that among the 9,500 people officially count- 
ed, 3,000 were Black slaves and 1,400 were 
Indian captives, not far from the equivalent of 
one slave for every White. Some Indians also 
owned slaves, which they kept for themselves 
and did not trade. 

Not surprisingly, the wide-scale barter in 
human life significantly intensified the dangers 
Indians faced, so much so that in 1693 the 
Cherokee, who had until then largely avoided 
trading with Charleston, felt compelled to send 
a delegation offering friendship, coupled with 
pleas for protection from other Indians hunting 
slaves. The Cherokee also now wanted to get 
their own share of the English guns. 

Many Indians felt they had to get the weap- 
ons to protect themselves from marauding 
enemies hunting slaves. But to get the guns, 
they, too, were often required to pay in 
slaves. As time passed, however, more Indians 
became uneasy about the calamities rampant 
enslaving of one another was bringing; also, 
many were disgruntled over the ill treatment 
they received from White traders. When 
enough of them were aroused, they organized 
a bloody revolt. 

None of the strong, centralized Indian gov- 
ernments from the Mississippian era remained. 
Instead, there were many independent chiefs 
whose rule was restricted to a single village or 
two and nearby hamlets. However, in the face 
of dangers introduced by the arrival of Whites, 
disparate groups began forming alliances. In 
South Carolina and Georgia, coastal Indians 
called the Yamasee banded together with the 
Creeks from south and central Georgia to 
wage war. At times, they indiscriminately 
attacked any Whites, regardless of whether 
their victims had participated in the slave trade 
or in any other way harmed an Indian. Having 
white skin was reason enough to incur Indian 

From 1715 to 1717, the Yamasee and their 

allies battled the colonists, attacking settle- 
ments along the South Carolina coast. Else- 
where in the Southeast, Indians murdered 
White traders and stole their supplies. The 
English responded by cutting off trade: No 
more guns would be swapped that might be 
used to kill the merchants. Weapons were not 
withheld from all Indians, however. Seeking 
allies for themselves, colonists approached the 
Cherokee living in the mountains to the north 
with an offer of guns and low-priced goods in 
return for help fighting the Yamasee and 

The Cherokee didn't easily decide to join 
the Whites against other Indians. Even before 
their negotiations began with the colonists, 
some Cherokee may have killed colonists 
during the early stages of the Yamasee War; 
reports vary. The issue was forced, though, 
when Cherokee, favoring a colonial alliance, 
reportedly murdered visiting Creek ambassa- 
dors, violating the unwritten Indian law that 
such emissaries were guaranteed safe passage. 
The killings required Creek retaliation, and 
fueled an enmity between the two groups that 
burned for years to come. 

By joining the colonists, the Cherokee 
helped break the back of the Indian rebellion, 
and the Creeks and their allies were subdued. 
But in defeat, the rebels achieved a victory of 
sorts because the war contributed to a steep 
decline in the Indian slave trade. Whites 
decided to concentrate on the safer pursuit of 
skins and furs and looked elsewhere for 
slaves. Peddling of Blacks steadily increased, 
in part, because Black slaves were worth twice 
as much as Indians. The Indians were too 
inclined to revolt and escape into the wilder- 
ness they knew so well. To minimize these 
risks, Indian slaves were often sent far from 
their homes to New England or the West 

During this early colonial period, the Rus- 
sell Reservoir area was still unoccupied, 
although Cherokee lived not far away to the 
north, and groups allied with their Creek 
enemies lived nearby to the south. White trad- 


Figure 99: Culture was important in early Charleston, site of one of the country's first theaters. Performances are still 
given in the Dock Street Theater, a reconstruction of an 1809 building. 


jP^v- *•••"• i *fgQ3BQgs* i 

Figure 100: Indians continued to farm after Whites arrived. John Wyth drew 
a Southern village on a 1585 expedition with Sir Richard Grenville. Theodore 
De Bry later made an engraving of the sketch. 

ers who passed through the vacant land were 
often illiterate, so they left no written accounts 
of what they saw. But other Europeans did re- 
cord their observations, including the British 
colonel George Chicken, who traveled along 
the Savannah River in the 1720's en route to 
meet the Cherokee. 

The colonel's aim was to persuade the 
Indians not to trade with or support the 
French, who were trying to expand, at British 
expense, their own toehold in the New World 
eastward from their settlements in Mississippi 
and Louisiana. Furthermore, Chicken intended 
to discourage reconciliation between the Cher- 

okee and Creeks, no doubt because a truce 
among the Indians could make them formida- 
ble adversaries against the colonists. The 
French also envisioned such a scenario, and 
tried to bring it to pass by rousing Indian 
sentiments against the British. If they succeed- 
ed, they might win all Indian trade for them- 

Writings about the reservoir area and 
surrounding land, including Chicken's ac- 
count, placed the Cherokee north along the 
headwaters of the Savannah River in the 
foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The 
study area remained mostly empty, possibly a 


residual effect of whatever prompted the 
disappearance of Mississippian people. 

The amount of unoccupied land had dimin- 
ished by colonial times from what had existed 
in the Mississippian period, but there were 
still empty miles that now formed a buffer 
between the Cherokee and Creeks. This stretch 
was entered cautiously by all, including hunt- 
ing parties from both tribes, and warriors 
intent on raiding their foes. 

Richard Taylor and Marion Smith of the 
University of South Carolina, who conducted 
the major archeological survey of the Russell 
area, suggested that disease may have been a 
factor in the prolonged absence of population. 
Fully half the Cherokees were killed by small- 
pox in 1738, for example. The empty buffer 
would have helped limit the spread of such 
infectious illnesses from one group to another, 
as well as help limit hostile confrontations. 

As their appetite for European goods and 
need for the colonists' protection grew, the 
Cherokee began to relinquish their land. In 
1747, they signed over to the British property 
along the upper Savannah River in what is 
now southern Abbeville County near Long 
Canes Creek in South Carolina. This tract was 
the first section of the reservoir territory to 
become part of the British colony. 

Hostilities among the Indians mounted, 
often fanned by self-serving Europeans. The 
Cherokee were embattled with many enemies 
besides the Creeks, some of them based far 
away, such as the Siouan of Virginia, the 
Tuscarora and Catawba of South Carolina, the 
Chickasaw and Shawano to the west, and the 
Iroquois to the north. But fighting the Creeks 
was especially destructive for the Cherokee, 
who abandoned many of their towns in South 
Carolina because of the battles between them. 
They fled to the north and west into the safety 
of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

The Cherokee wanted the British to estab- 
lish forts within Cherokee territory to protect 
them, as well as to promote trade, and by 
1753 secured such a promise. When the Brit- 
ish began building Fort Prince George, many 

Cherokee began returning to South Carolina. 
The fort was built adjacent to the Keowee 
River, a source for the Savannah River. The 
spot was ideally close to the well-worn Cher- 
okee Path, also called the Keowee Path, which 
extended south to Charleston and north to the 
mountains. Across the river from the fort 
stood Keowee, an important Cherokee village. 

The Cherokee were widely scattered across 
the foot hills and mountains of the Southeast. 
They never operated as a monolithic, totally 
united force. Consequently, anthropologists 
have developed labels to distinguish distinct 
groups among them. Those who lived near 
Fort Prince George in northwestern South 
Carolina and northeastern Georgia are identi- 
fied as the Lower Cherokee, and Keowee was 
their most prominent village. They differed 
slightly culturally and in their dialect from 
those Indians living in the North Carolina 
mountains who are labeled Middle Cherokee. 
Those who lived on the other side of the 
mountains in east Tennessee are referred to as 
the Overhill Cherokee. 

The three clusters sometimes cooperated 
with one another, and sometimes did not, but, 
regardless, the many chiefdoms among them 
prized their autonomy. 

Michael Harmon of the University of South 
Carolina has documented just how the Lower 
Cherokee became dependent on British goods, 
while they still retained aspects of their own 
culture. Their artifacts, discovered near the 
headwaters of the Savannah River, revealed 
that the Indians traded for many goods, includ- 
ing ceramic jugs, pewter spoons, tin pots, 
frying pans, and brass kettles. Even though 
they used and valued these European utensils 
and cooking gear, they did not abandon tradi- 
tional communal eating habits, maintaining 
them throughout the 1700's. 

When the brass kettles they obtained 
through trade wore out, they recycled the 
metal to make jewelry and arrowheads; and 
when the English ceramics broke, Indians 
drilled holes in the sherds and turned them 
into pendants for necklaces and bracelets. The 


Figure 101: The Cherokee sometimes used European glass to make tools for practical and mystical purposes. 
Some used glass stems in place of crystals for seeing the future. 

Cherokee also adapted European glass to their 
own use, transforming it into tools such as 
scrapers, which they had made before from 
sharpened stone. Glass stems were reserved 
for important mystical functions— the Indians 
carried them as good luck charms and for 
divining the future. Quartz crystals were used 
similarly before the Europeans arrived, per- 
haps because the dragon-like monster of Cher- 
okee myth, the Uktena, supposedly had a 
sparkling, diamond-like crystal in its forehead. 
Anyone resourceful enough to capture that 
crystal, called the Ulunsuti, would win special 
powers. The abundance of glass brought to 
North America by the colonists must have 
contributed to the awe the Europeans original- 
ly inspired among the Indians. 

European influence extended beyond what 
could be found inside the Indians' homes and 
affected the structures themselves. By the mid- 
1700' s, the custom of building separate houses 
for warm and cool weather began to decline, 
and various Cherokees erected only one rect- 
angular dwelling for year-round use. In some 

places, though, dual housing persisted until the 
end of the century. The Cherokee also ceased 
building walls of upright posts arranged side 
by side, and instead, by the 1780's, copied the 
European method of placing logs horizontally. 
They also adopted fireplaces and wooden 
floors, and stopped using woven mats to cover 

Cherokee furnishings followed tradition 
awhile longer, with cots for beds and seats, 
and baskets for storing clothing. However, 
those who could afford to, did add one more 
European feature— a big, wooden trunk for 
storage. Indians may have also salvaged trad- 
ers' shipping crates for the same purpose. 
They also liked the cloth Europeans bartered, 
and traded for scissors, needles, and metal 
awls to help transform the material into 
clothes. Cherokee men took to donning Euro- 
pean-style shirts, but continued wearing loin 
cloths and moccasins, or went barefoot. Indi- 
ans did not customarily wear trousers until the 

Less is known about the clothing of Chero- 


Map 14: Fort Prince George, at the top of a 1773 map, was surrounded by Indian land they eventually lost through 
treaties, thefts, and war. The Savannah River flows through the map's center. 


kee women, although evidence indicates they 
were dressing like Europeans by the mid- 
1700' s. Fancy traditional styles were still 
worn, however, by both sexes for ceremonies 
and dances, and both men and women also 
began wrapping themselves with blankets for 
warmth. To decorate their new fashions, the 
Cherokee traded for belts, buttons, brooches, 
bells, and even mirrors, which they sewed on 
the clothing. 

Glass beads in white and black were worn 
as jewelry and used to adorn elaborate smok- 
ing pipes. The beads were also potent symbols 
to the Indians— white ones signified peace, 
black beads meant war. Knowing this, colonial 
officials sometimes sent white beads to the 
Indians to display good intentions. 

The Indians eagerly sought European-made 
earbobs, but they also continued to make their 
own, using brass wire and other metals ob- 
tained in trade. Sometimes they twisted wires 
into bracelets or used wire and glass beads to 
make ornaments for hanging from their noses. 

Their metal-working skill included convert- 
ing gun barrels into drills, which they used in 
crafting jewelry. The Cherokee also learned to 
repair rifles, but many continued to use bows 
and arrows throughout the 1700's for several 
reasons. Arrows were silent, important to the 
sneak attacks they preferred, and the colonists 
restricted the number of guns traded to the 
Cherokee during war. Even so, there were 
always White traders willing to defy officials 
and provide weapons anytime for the right 
price, and to sell rum, for which some Indians 
had also acquired an almost irresistible taste. 

Swapping with colonists for straight razors 
ended another Cherokee practice, hair pluck- 
ing. Before, many of the men had removed all 
but a tuft of hair from their heads by plucking, 
while women, who wore their hair long, had 
plucked all other body hair, excluding their 

The Indians didn't obtain everything 
through trade. They took some of the Whites' 
goods as spoils in attacks on the colonists, and 
acquired other items in peacetime thefts. Some 

Whites, of course, also stole goods from the 

By the 1740's, the Cherokee owned many 
horses. They usually rode bareback because 
saddles and bridles were exorbitantly expen- 
sive, luxuries obtainable only by the chiefs and 
other elite. Generally, there tended to be little 
difference among most Indians in their person- 
al wealth, but the leaders sometimes could 
afford more expensive goods such as better 
guns, silver jewelry, and wooden trunks. 

While the clash of cultures altered Indian 
life, it also changed the Europeans. The colo- 
nists learned new farming, hunting, and fight- 
ing techniques, methods the Indians had dem- 
onstrated from long experience were best 
suited to the Eastern Woodlands. Some Euro- 
peans also copied Indian clothing and cooking, 
and picked up a hard-to break habit from the 
Indians when they began to smoke tobacco. 

The Cherokee and British maintained good 
relations during the early 1750's. The con- 
struction and garrisoning of Fort Prince 
George was welcomed by both sides, with the 
British offering a good-will gesture by acced- 
ing to a Cherokee demand that their burial 
mounds nearby be preserved. The British 
agreed to erect a fence to protect the grave- 

Workers, colonial and Indian, cooperatively 
built the fort, directed by Governor James 
Glen. The governor helped choose the site for 
the fort near the Cherokee town Keowee and 
worked diligently to smooth relations between 
the natives and the colonial settlers. The 
cordiality extended to the commander of Fort 
Prince George, who, at least once, gave the 
Keowee residents a barrel of rice and a barrel 
of bread. 

Within a few years, however, relations 
soured. The Cherokee were displeased with 
the growing number of Europeans violating 
treaties by establishing farms on Cherokee 
land. This pattern was to escalate and contin- 
ue, despite repeated promises that the Whites 
would go no farther than an agreed boundary. 
Too, White traders persisted as a sore point. 


Figure 102: Theodore De Brj s engraving of an Indian town captures housing 
styles that eventually disappeared because of European influence. 

The Indians considered many of them liars 
and cheats, a view shared by many Whites of 
the era, although there were a few traders who 
were well respected by both groups. If the 
Cherokee grew to distrust Whites, the feeling 
was reciprocated by many colonists who 
viewed the Indians as savages. British officials 
were also losing some of their good will 
towards the Cherokee because of reports that 
the Indians were secretly dealing with French 

These smoldering hostilities eventually 
erupted into bloodshed in 1756 in a dispute 
over horses. Details are sketchy, but apparent- 
ly the trouble started as a large group of 
Lower Cherokee men returned from helping 

Virginia colonists fight the French-backed 
Shawano Indians. According to one report, the 
Cherokee came upon some grazing, unattended 
horses, which they caught, and prepared to 
lead home. Suddenly, colonists appeared, 
claiming the animals as theirs and accusing the 
Indians of stealing. Shots were fired and 
several Whites were killed. 

Learning of the incident, British authorities 
demanded that Cherokee leaders turn over all 
involved, which the Indians refused to do, 
despite British threats of retaliation. Matters 
worsened some time later when another inci- 
dent occurred on a day when many of the 
Cherokee men had left the village to go hunt- 
ing. In their absence, three young officers 


Figure 103: James Edward Oglethorpe of Great Britain, Georgia's founder, tried 
unsuccessfully to prevent slavery in the colony. 

from Fort Prince George reportedly raped 
three Cherokee women in their homes. Further 
hostile episodes followed, with blood spilled 
on both sides, leading up to the British formal- 
ly declaring war on the Cherokee in 1759. 

Yet, some Indians still desired peace. An 
Indian delegation of 31, including important 
Cherokee leaders, traveled to Charleston to 
confer with Governor William Henry Lyttle- 
ton, who had replaced Glen in 1756. But the 
governor refused to see them, and instead 
ordered them imprisoned. All 31 Indians were 
eventually jailed at Fort Prince George in a 
room designed to hold only six people. Their 
arrest on a mission of peace was the final 
insult, prompting outraged Cherokee to sur- 
round the fort, placing it under siege. In 
February 1760, the Indians somehow tricked 
the fort commander into stepping outside the 
stockade where they shot him dead. The 
soldiers inside retaliated by killing all their 
Cherokee captives. 

Soon an army of some 1 ,000 British sol- 

diers arrived and destroyed all Lower Chero- 
kee villages, burning the houses and crops and 
sending survivors fleeing to the high moun- 
tains. They found shelter there among the 
Middle Cherokee. 

The British army soon pursued them, 
however, only to be repelled at an Indian 
village called Echoee. The unsuccessful British 
were forced to retreat back to Fort Prince 
George. But another British army soon fol- 
lowed, and this time the soldiers triumphed in 
their mountain assault, destroying all Middle 
Cherokee villages. When peace was finally 
negotiated, the price the Indians paid was the 
surrender of more land, including additional 
parts of the Russell Reservoir area. Again, the 
colonists gave their word that in the future no 
more Indian property would be seized. 

With their victory, the British had pushed 
the colony's borders north to include all of 
Abbeville County, South Carolina. The north- 
ern section of the reservoir, in what is now 
Anderson County, South Carolina, still be- 


Map 15: A contemporary map shows the Russei! Reservoir study area, including surrounding counties. 


longed to the Cherokee. Across the Savannah 
River in Georgia, the reservoir land remained 
in Indian hands because the colony of Georgia 
was slower to be settled. James Edward Ogle- 
thorpe and the English colonists he brought to 
Yamacraw Bluff to establish the city of Savan- 
nah didn't arrive until 1733, 63 years after the 
first Charles Town settlers. 

Architects for the growth of South Carolina 
sought to strengthen their hold on former 
Indian territory by enticing homesteaders 
inland with free land grants. Many resisted the 
offer. There were only 23 White families 
counted in all the backcountry in 1761, and 
only three of those lived within the Russell 
Reservoir land. 

By 1763, there were reports in a newspaper 
that about 1 ,000 families had moved into the 
Long Canes Creek area, land the Cherokee 
forfeited in 1747. But J. W. Joseph, after 
examining information developed during the 
Russell investigations, concluded that the 
newspaper account exaggerated and that far 
fewer colonists had settled there. 

Sparse White settlement was probably 
caused by fear of Indians, including the 
Creeks, who still claimed land just across the 
Savannah River in what would become Geor- 
gia. Events proved such fears justified. Cher- 
okee or Creeks attacked in the early 1760's in 
a major assault on White settlers near Long 
Canes Creek, killing at least 20 people and 
sending other Whites fleeing to the coast. 
Among the dead were members of the Cal- 
houn family. 

Originally from Donegal, Ireland, the 
Calhouns first settled in western Virginia. Like 
a number of pioneers who moved once, twice, 
even three times or more looking for an ideal 
homesite, they left Virginia and in 1756 chose 
property in the Long Canes Creek area. Cal- 
houn survivors of the Indian assault eventually 
returned to rebuild on another site in the area. 
They established a family presence that played 
a major role in the history of the Russell 
Reservoir area, the state of South Carolina, 
and the entire nation. 

Indian and White relations in Georgia, 
meanwhile, were relatively placid and contin- 
ued that way for some time, possibly because 
of the colony's slow growth and the Geor- 
gians' concerted good-will efforts to compete 
with the South Carolinians for Indian trade. 
Some Whites did move into the Indians' 
Georgia territory as early as the 1750's, but 
apparently provoked little hostility. The 
Creeks possibly became too preoccupied with 
their war against the Choctaws to the west in 
the 1760's and 1770's to give the White in- 
truders much thought. 

Why did colonists ignore treaty boundaries 
and live on Indian land? There were probably 
many reasons. The earliest arrivals in any area 
snared the richest farmland for themselves, 
and the settlers had covered many hard miles 
to find and obtain rich soil for their crops. 
Too, the settlers were a scrappy lot, often 
driven by a desire to live far apart from others 
and free of any government rules. Some paid 
dearly for their independence and isolation 
because when the Indians attacked, there was 
often no help around for miles. 

The Georgia Indians soon lost more land 
through a series of treaties. Government 
officials forgave Indian debts with traders in 
exchange for their property, steadily pushing 
colonial borders north from the Augusta and 
Savannah region. In 1773 at the Indian Con- 
gress in Augusta, Georgia, the Creeks and 
Cherokee made one of their biggest land 
concessions. They signed away over 1.5 
million acres— the so-called "New Pur- 
chase"— to the colony of Georgia. The land 
handed over to the colony included parts of 
what is now the Russell Reservoir region. 

Acquiring Indian land through their indebt- 
edness from trading with Whites was a delib- 
erate plan first envisioned by Thomas Jeffer- 
son, who proposed placing trading posts close 
to the Indians expressly for that purpose. The 
scheme was disastrously effective against 
Indians, few of whom could resist the mer- 
chandise Whites had to offer, and who soon 
became dependent on the goods. 


William Bartram, a noted writer 
and botanist from Philadelphia, attend- 
ed the Indian Congress in Augusta, 
and described the proceedings: 

". . .the negotiations continued unde- 
termined many days; the merchants of 
Georgia demanding at least two mil- 
lions of acres of land from the Indi- 
ans, as a discharge of their debts, due, 
and of long standing. 

"The Creeks, on the other hand, 
being a powerful and proud spirited 
people, their young warriors were 
unwilling to submit to so large a de- 

The warriors appeared impatient to 
wage war, according to Bartram, who 
wrote that the Indians were unwilling 
"to listen to reason and amicable 

"However, at length, the cool and 
deliberate counsels of the ancient 
venerable chiefs, enforced by liberal 
presents of suitable goods, were too 
powerful inducements for them any 
longer to resist, and finally prevailed. " 

Bartram, later accompanying sur- 
veyors marking Georgia's new borders 
resulting from the treaty, wrote his 
impressions as he went. Near the 
reservoir area, he found much to delight him: 

"...the land rises very sensibly, and the 
country being mountainous, our progress 
became daily more difficult and slow; yet the 
varied scenes of pyramidal hills, high forest, 
rich vales, serpentine rivers, and cataracts 
[waterfalls], fully compensated for our diffi- 
culties and delays." 

An astute naturalist, Bartram observed that 
the country was already bereft of some animal 
species because of humans: 

"The buffalo once so very numerous, is not 
at this day to be seen in this part of the coun- 
try; there are but few elks, and those only in 
the Appalachian mountains." 

But the continued presence of some crea- 
tures drew less favorable comment: "The 

Figure 104: William Bartram occasionally traveled alone among the 
Indians, sometimes drawing them and writing his impressions, which have 
become valued records of a vanished culture. 

dreaded and formidable rattlesnake is yet too 
common, and a variety of other serpents 
abound. The alligator, a species of crocodile, 
abounds in the rivers and swamps, near the 
coast, but is not seen above Augusta. Bears, 
tigers, wolves, and wild cats are numerous 

Bartram, also a skilled illustrator, drew 
sketches of the flora and fauna he saw; some 
of these efforts accompanied his published 
writing, and several of his drawings are now 
displayed in the Exposition Center in Savan- 
nah. A man of considerable religious faith, 
Bartram sometimes explored all alone in the 
wilderness. He covered countless miles seeing 
Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, and Ala- 
bama, and was readily accepted into many 


Figure 105: Cannons were part of Charleston's stormy beginnings and are still poised today on the East Battery as a 
reminder of yesterday's battles. 

Indian villages, where he characteristically 
recorded what he observed in great detail, 
providing succeeding generations with some of 
the most thorough records of Indian lifestyles. 
Unlike many others who preceded him, Bar- 
tram described the Indians realistically, rather 
than in stereotypes, while the Indians had their 
own view of this curious white man. They 
called him "Puc Puggy", The Flower Hunter. 
Many readers of his time were influenced 
by Bartram's words; some were even encour- 
aged to move into places he described. While 
occasionally his writing painted a picture of an 
almost frightening wilderness, at other times 
he described a land rich in potential for the 
motivated. He predicted the region would be 
excellent for growing corn, other grains, 
indigo, grapes, and sundry fruits, as well as 
for raising silkworms, and he foresaw that the 
many "delightful glittering streams of running 
water" would someday be ideal for powering 
mills to grind the grain. Although he was 
sometimes wrong in his visions for the future, 
Bartram captured the excitement many came to 
share about the country, and he left for the 

rest of us a chronicle of what it was once like. 

Pioneers migrated to the reservoir territory 
by different routes. Some traveled by ship to 
Charleston or Savannah, then moved inland 
from there. Perhaps the biggest cluster of 
settlers arrived in 1764, when 200 French 
Protestants, called Huguenots, left Charleston 
to establish the inland town they named Abbe- 
ville, in honor of a town in their homeland. 

But it was the Scots, English, and Scotch- 
Irish who first predominated, with a few 
Germans and Dutch in the mix. Many came 
from Northern colonies by way of the Great 
Philadelphia Wagon Road, a slow journey that 
took them across the Potomac River and into 
the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. From 
there, they continued south through Appala- 
chian mountain passes, and into the Piedmont 
regions of South Carolina, heading for the 
village of Camden. 

At Camden, just north of Columbia, the 
trail split in two. One route headed southwest 
to Augusta, the other towards the west and an 
Indian trading post called Ninety Six. The post 
took its name from its distance to the village 


of Keowee (and later Fort Prince George) 
along the Cherokee Path. Ninety Six was the 
jumping off point for those seeking to venture 
a bit farther into the frontier towards what was 
to become the Russell Reservoir. The post also 
proved significant in South Carolina's future 
as the base for the Ninety Six Militia, which 
fought the British army in many Revolutionary 
War battles, including the battle for control of 
the city of Savannah. 

Trails that the Indians had blazed when they 
were the only people in the land were often 
followed by White traders, whose horses 
helped beat down the brush and make the 
routes more distinct. Later, the trails were 
widened to accommodate wagons. Because the 
paths often crossed rivers and streams at the 
easiest spots and followed valleys, the rail- 
roads later were often built alongside them. 
Ultimately, what began as narrow footpaths 
for the Indians became the arteries and veins 
of a major transportation network. 

While there were certainly rugged 
loners among the initial colonists, 
many others were part of extended 
families of several generations that 
traveled and settled together. The 
kinship must have helped them endure 
the rigors and dangers of a primitive 
life when miles often separated them 
from other settlers. Vigilante rule was 
frequently the only law in the frontier 
where, besides potentially hostile Indi- 
ans, the colonists sometimes had rene- 
gade Whites to fear as well. 

The outbreak of the Revolutionary 
War in 1775 reverberated through the 
South and heightened the dangers 
facing homesteaders. Everyone was 
now on guard. The Lower Cherokee 
had moved back to their traditional 
lands in the foothills of what would 
one day be South Carolina and Geor- 
gia and rebuilt some of their villages, 
but they were apparently weaker than 
before. A government report of the 
time explained that trading with them 

was no longer profitable. The report, howev- 
er, advised continuing the trade because the 
Cherokee could still serve as a defensive 
screen between the colonists and the French 
and hostile western tribes. 

But the Whites misjudged the strength of 
the Cherokee who were angrily losing even 
more land to the continuing flow of settlers 
debarking from the Great Philadelphia Wagon 
Road. The Indians saw the war between the 
British and the colonists as a chance to avenge 
themselves on the colonists, an attitude 
cheered by the British, who provided them 
with guns and supplies. 

The British fleet's attack on Charleston in 
June 1776 was the signal that launched the 
Cherokee assault on settlements in Georgia, 
the Carolinas, and Virginia. The Indians chose 
their targets randomly, indiscriminately killing 
men, women, and children, those who were a 
party to the American Revolution, and those 

Figure 106: 

Surveying and testing a site are important steps to every 
whether archeologists are searching for signs of historic or 
human occupations. 


Figure 107: Charleston's Old Exchange Building served as a British jail for political and military prisoners during the 
American Revolution. 

who were loyal to the British. A few Creeks 
joined the battle against Whites, but most 
other Southeastern Indians stayed on the 

Reaction from the affected colonies was 
swift and deadly. All the colonies sent citizen 
armies to hunt down and kill every Cherokee 
they could find, including women and chil- 
dren. Burning villages and crops as a matter 
of course, the colonists, by the time they 
finished, left not a single Lower Cherokee 
town standing, and none would ever be re- 
built. Defeated, the Cherokee signed a peace 
treaty in 1777, with the now familiar proviso 

agreeing to concede forever still more of their 
territory. Now, all of the reservoir land was in 
the hands of the colonists. Many Cherokee 
turned their backs on the land of their ances- 
tors and moved to Alabama, Tennessee, and 
northwest Georgia. In a relatively short time, 
they would be expelled again as more Whites 
poured in and took their land. 

But for awhile, the Cherokee were able to 
exist under their own rule. They eventually 
created their own constitutional government, 
which they patterned after that of the United 
States. They established New Echota in north 
Georgia as their capital. Sequoyah, their 


Figure 108: Crews systematically examine and collect artifacts from the ground surface 
before excavations begin. 

leader, invented a syllabary of the Cherokee 
language, which helped many learn to read 
and write. Sequoyah also started a newspaper, 
The Cherokee Phoenix, which he published in 
Cherokee and English to convey important 
information and strengthen common ties. 
Many federal and state officials, however, 
including President Andrew Jackson, didn't 
accept the sovereignty of any Indian nation, 
and continued the pattern of seizing Indian 
land through whatever worked, a scheme 
repeated throughout the country. 

There was little the Indians could do to stop 
the loss because they were outnumbered and 
outgunned, and Whites justified their actions 
with laws. In Georgia, for instance, state 
representatives drafted legislation in 1829 
dissolving all Cherokee laws, leaving the Indi- 

ans with no legal rights. 

Steadily, more Cherokee left, heading west 
to Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas. But too 
many still remained on land Whites wanted, so 
mass exoduses were ordered by federal offi- 

The worst such journey began in June, 
1838, and involved some 18,000 Cherokee. 
Nearly 4,000 of them died before arriving at 
the end of what has become known as "The 
Trail of Tears." A few Indians eluded the 
round-up by hiding, and a group in the west- 
ern North Carolina mountains managed to get 
permission to stay. But most Indians were 
banished from the Southeast, effectively end- 
ing the hold of a once proud people on mil- 
lions of acres so that a new nation could 


Figure 109: Nancy Hart, called "Warwoman" by the Indians, was a pioneer with a strong taste for freedom. This old 
painting portrays the Georgia frontierwoman subduing British loyalists. 


Chapter 12: Liberty or Death 

1776 to 1782 

The decrees and demands issued by the 
British Crown that stirred a citizen revolt in 
Northern colonies went largely unnoticed at 
first by the scattered population in the back- 
country of Georgia and South Carolina. The 
Sugar, Stamp, Townshend, and Tea Acts had 
little meaning for pioneers struggling in the 
Southern wilds. Not that some didn't have 
their own resentments of higher authorities. In 
South Carolina particularly, many frontier 
settlers felt antagonism against Charleston 
aristocrats. Those aristocrats controlled region- 
al government and refused for a time to grant 
the settlers representation in the Commons 
House, the state assembly. 

For the pioneers, many of whom detected 
condescension in the eyes of upper-crust 
Charlestonians, there was no need to look 
across the sea to find culprits guilty of taxation 
without representation when villains were 
perceived much closer to home. Consequently, 
many of these resentful settlers were unmoved 
to join Charleston Rebels when they began to 
clamor for war against Britain after the first 
shots were fired in Lexington and Concord, 
Massachusetts, in May 1775. 

Many others throughout the colonies were 
also disinclined to revolt, according to Samuel 
Adams, an early spokesman for the revolution. 
He estimated that about a third of the colonial 
population initially disfavored the brewing 
fight. But in the backcountry of Georgia and 
South Carolina, that number was closer to 
half. Nonetheless, the conflict came. The first 
act of war sanctioned by South Carolina gov- 
ernment occurred in 1775 just south of the 
reservoir area at the British Fort Charlotte. 

Backcountry settlers, who had finally won 
a governmental voice, participated in the 
newly-elected Provincial Congress that autho- 
rized raising troops, printing money, and ap- 

pointing a 13-member executive committee to 
manage South Carolina's government. This 
Council of Safety included some members who 
were still disinclined to sever alliance with 
Britain, but the fervor against the Crown 
overwhelmed them. With the council ' s approv- 
al, the South Carolina Rangers marched to- 
ward Fort Charlotte, and on July 12, 1775, 
seized weapons and supplies from the British. 

The first known local casualty from the 
war, however, was not suffered at Fort Char- 
lotte but at the trading post of Ninety Six the 
following November. The battle came after 
Rebels seized and imprisoned Robert Cunning- 
ham in Charleston. Cunningham was a leader 
of those colonists who wanted to remain under 
British rule— the Loyalists. Frontier Loyalists 
were incensed over Cunningham's arrest, and 
with a force of nearly 2,000 men descended 
on Ninety Six, seeking revenge. They sur- 
rounded 562 Rebel militiamen commanded by 
Andrew Williamson in a hastily-built stockade. 
When the smoke cleared, one Rebel was dead, 
and 12 more soldiers were wounded. The 
battle ended with a truce, but elsewhere con- 
flict continued to erupt. 

While there were full-scale, pitched battles 
in the South between regular armies during the 
Revolutionary War, the details of which were 
often faithfully recorded, there were also many 
unheralded ambushes, duels, and disorganized 
assaults by groups of ragtag farmers-turned- 
soldiers. The nature of individuals drawn to 
frontier life and the roles some played in the 
conflict are exemplified in the tale of Nancy 
Hart of Georgia. 

Separating fact from fiction concerning 
Hart, who has become a legend, is difficult. 
She was reportedly six-feet tall. Some say she 
was cross-eyed, making it difficult for onlook- 
ers to tell where she was pointing her gun, 


which could prove fatal. Her bellicosity and 
prowess with a rifle were considerable, lead- 
ing the Indians to call her " Warwoman" and to 
name Warwoman Creek near her home in her 

Married to Benjamin Hart and mother of 
six, she favored the revolution, and her sup- 
port of the Rebels was apparently known to 
Loyalist soldiers patrolling the area. When six 
of them stopped at her secluded house in her 
husband's absence and demanded she feed 
them, Hart refused, saying she had only one 
turkey left. One of the soldiers then shot the 
bird and again demanded that she prepare 
them a meal. Outnumbered and goaded by the 
men's taunts, Hart complied while she hatched 
a scheme to foil the intruders. 

Plying them with alcohol and, by some 
accounts, joining in the tippling, she sent a 
daughter into the woods ostensibly to fetch 
water but really to alert her husband Benjamin 
of the danger. The family used blasts on a 
conch shell to communicate over distances, 
and when the girl gave three blows on the 
makeshift horn Benjamin Hart knew he should 
return at once and bring help. 

Meanwhile, Nancy Hart used the soldiers' 
inattentiveness while they noisily drank and ate 
to sneak two of their rifles out of reach and 
through a gap in the wall of her rough-hewn 
house. She was pushing a third gun through 
the crack when one of the soldiers noticed and 
alerted the others. Quickly, Hart raised the 
gun to stop them from disarming her and 
warned them not to move. When one man 
ignored her order and attempted to take the 
weapon, she shot him dead. 

Her daughter returned just then and handed 
her another of the rifles, which Hart used to 
hold the soldiers at bay. But again one or 
more of the men charged her, Hart fired, and 
another Loyalist slumped to the floor, wound- 

The soldiers then attempted to reconcile 
with the formidable frontierwoman, but she 
was unmoved and kept them at gunpoint until 
her husband appeared with several compatri- 

ots. They wanted to take the prisoners outside 
and shoot them, but Nancy Hart preferred 
hanging them instead. One by one, they took 
the five soldiers, including the wounded one, 
and fitted them with nooses, then strung them 
up from trees. Some reports say that the 
Rebels, including Nancy Hart, whistled or 
sang "Yankee Doodle Dandy" while the noos- 
es tightened and strangled the men to death.. 

How they disposed of the bodies apparently 
was answered in 1912 when railroad workers 
near Elberton, Georgia, found six skeletons in 
shallow, three-foot-deep graves. The workers 
found the graves about a half mile from where 
the Harts once lived. 

Hart County, Georgia, which includes part 
of the Russell Reservoir, and the county seat, 
Hartwell, were named for Nancy Hart, the 
only such dual honors awarded a woman in 
the entire United States, according to author 
and Georgia Governor Zell Miller, who wrote 
about her in his 1983 biography, Great Geor- 
gians. Miller also pointed out that Georgia's 
Nancy Hart Highway was then the only state 
highway in the country named for a woman. 

After the British unsuccessfully attacked 
Charleston by water in 1776, and the colonists 
defeated and dislocated the Cherokee, friction 
in the area entered a lull of sorts. The Rebels 
were in charge, even in the backcountry where 
strong support for the Crown or neutrality 
persisted. Most Loyalists bided their time, 
waiting for a chance to strike. 

In early 1777, the South Carolina Rebel 
government sent several regular army compa- 
nies to guard territory near the upper Savan- 
nah River. One detachment traveled into the 
Russell Reservoir area to a small stronghold 
called Fort Independence that had already 
served as a bulwark against attacks by Indians. 

Archeologists, directed by Beverly Bastian, 
uncovered the remnants of the fort during the 
Russell studies and also researched its role in 
the period. Located about 300 yards from the 
Rocky River in Abbeville County, Fort Inde- 
pendence was not the stalwart bastion that the 
term implies, but was most probably a small 




Source. Bastian 1982:69. 

Figure 110: Fort Independence was a Revolutionary War post in South Carolina near Rocky River. This is 
an interpretation of how the fort looked, based on archeological research. 

homestead enclosed by a stockade fence as an 
afterthought. Robert Anderson chose the site, 
presumably for his residence, about four-and- 
a-half miles from where the Rocky River 
flows into the Savannah River, a setting where 
prehistoric people also spent time. 

Documents were unclear when Anderson 
built the house, but it was probably after 
1767, although a 1761 date is also possible. 
The date the stockade fence was erected 
around the house is also unclear. Archeologists 
think the stockade enclosure was not built at 
the same time as the house, but came later, 
possibly in 1774 when the Creeks were raiding 
settlers in the region. Chronicles from the era 
revealed that 12 forts were built along the 
Savannah River during the Creek assaults. By 
1776, when hostilities with the British heated 
up, many of these forts were strengthened, 
possibly including Fort Independence. 

The fort was different from many others of 
the era in the weakness of its stockade, a de- 

fect detected by studying postmolds in the soil. 
Other forts of the time were protected by 
fences of closely-spaced posts anchored firmly 
in the ground, reminiscent of those built by 
Mississippian Indians. But at Fort Indepen- 
dence, big gaps up to 16 and one-half feet 
wide were left between the posts. The posts 
were formed from stout tree trunks up to a 
foot and one-half in diameter. While these big 
posts were fitted firmly into the soil, other 
wood pieces that filled the gaps between them 
apparently were merely nailed onto a series of 
horizontal boards attached to the posts. The 
result was a barrier that appeared deceptively 
substantial, like the strong fences around other 
forts. But while those fences could withstand 
heavy assault, the one at Fort Independence 
was much more susceptible to being breached. 
Then why erect the fence at all? From all 
accounts, Robert Anderson, a militia captain, 
was a knowledgeable builder. He was even 
responsible for construction of one of the more 


substantial defenses of the time, Fort Rutledge, 
in Lower Cherokee country. Possibly he built 
the Fort Independence stockade to fool the 
Indians, a temporary structure that he intended 
to strengthen later. Indians, who were most 
likely to make quick, surprise attacks, might 
be discouraged by the fence's seeming 
strength. Or, perhaps Anderson simply never 
had the help or the time to make the fence 
stronger and devised the best facade of resis- 
tance he could manage. 

The fence around the fort was square with 
the four sides all about 76 feet long. At three 
corners, there were diamond-shaped enclo- 
sures (bastions) where defenders could stand 
during assaults and fire parallel along the 
fence at attackers. Archeologists found evi- 
dence of one small structure within one of the 
bastions that may have been an animal pen or 
a shelter for soldiers. The fourth corner of the 
fence was probably where the gate stood. This 
entrance faced a spring about 200 feet away 
where fresh water bubbled year-round. 

In the center of the stockade, atop a slight 
knoll, stood the building archeologists think 
Anderson built originally as his house and 
which became fort headquarters. Anderson 
was the first to command troops at Fort Inde- 

Figure 111: The fort fence was much weaker than it appeared from the 
outside. Defenders could shoot from three corner bastions. 

pendence. As a captain in the Ninety Six 
Militia, he and his soldiers apparently spent 
long months based there, using the place as a 
base for raids into the wilderness to fight 
Indians. One of the soldiers later recounted his 

"As soon as I joined the service (October 
1776), which was to aid in guarding the fron- 
tiers and in repelling the Indians, Captain 
Anderson stationed himself at one of these 
forts called Fort Independence... where we 
remained fourteen months in constant service 
against these Indians— in scouring the country 
and protecting the inhabitants." 

When South Carolina officials decided to 
place regular army companies near the Savan- 
nah River, Anderson sold them Fort Indepen- 
dence and left for duties elsewhere, but his 
name was to reappear in chronicles of violent 
events soon to unfold nearby. 

Captain John Bowie soon arrived at Fort 
Independence with a company of soldiers. He 
assumed command of the fort sometime be- 
tween May and November 1777. Even though 
he was with the regular army, Bowie nonethe- 
less took his orders from the militia leaders at 
Ninety Six. 

The winter of 1777 passed fairly quietly for 
Bowie and for most soldiers in Georgia 
and South Carolina, but further to the 
north, Rebels in Valley Forge, Pennsyl- 
vania, were barely surviving. The effects 
of a cruel cold were taxing General 
George Washington's leadership to its 
limits. Meanwhile, the soldiers at Fort 
Independence waited for their first test. 
Aspects of their lives were revealed in 
letters to Captain Bowie. Written more 
than 200 years ago, the correspondence 
provided researchers with important 
details about what life was like at Fort 
Independence. They learned, for in- 
stance, that Bowie and his wife apparent- 
ly for a time shared the fort's only sub- 
stantial building with a physician named 
Begbie. The letters also included details 
about the soldiers' spartan diet. Their 






Map 16: Fort Independence is shown near the Rocky River, along with other important Revolutionary War sites. 



Figure 112: The dug-out hut was banked with earth on its 
sides and had a roof and possibly a chimney. 

provisions, supplied by wagon from Ninety 
Six and another community called White Hall, 
consisted primarily of two staples— beef and 
flour. Some of the beef arrived at the fort in 
the form of live cattle, but most was already 
butchered and heavily salted for preservation. 
On average, every soldier received a daily 
ration of one pound of salted beef and one- 
and-a-half pounds of flour. Sometimes this 
was supplemented with sugar and shelled and 
ground corn, and by animals soldiers hunted 
and the wild plant foods they gathered. They 
apparently grew no crops at the fort. 

Wagons also brought shoes, clothing, 
sealing wax, hemp, buttons, and rum. Alcohol 
apparently helped ease the boredom of a life 
spent waiting. Archeologists found a number 
of glass sherds from wine bottles in the fort 

The only apparent shelters for soldiers were 
crude earthlodges dug just outside the stockade 
fence. Only traces of one earthlodge were 
found, near the fort entrance, but experts think 
there were probably other earthlodges that 
eventually collapsed beyond recognition. 

An army company consisted of about 60 
men, but desertions, leaves, and resignations 
were notoriously common, leaving many 
companies undermanned. Still, by the end of 
1778, two companies were based at Fort 
Independence for about a month or two, which 
must have greatly crowded conditions. It's 
easy to imagine that on almost any night the 
soldiers gathered outside the stockade in the 
open air, with only the dreariest weather 
driving them inside the damp, cramped earth- 
lodges. They would have sat close to camp- 
fires circling the fort, with the flickering light 
casting shadows back and forth across the 
ground, the fence, and their faces. Talk proba- 
bly centered frequently on the question of 
when the British would finally come, while 
each man wondered how he would face the 

The soldiers likely ate outside as well, but 
when the weather turned bad, they probably 
retreated like moles into their bunkers. Re- 
searchers found remnants of meals— 30 bone 
pieces and remains from other foods— in the 
one excavated earthlodge. The soldiers ate 
pigs, chickens, cattle, and possibly deer, along 
with peaches, persimmons, and black walnuts. 

To build an earthlodge, the soldiers dug a 
rectangular hole in the sloping ground. They 
then mounded loose dirt on the top edges of 
the hole, forming supports for a roof that 
resembled roofs for more ordinary houses, 
except this one rested on dirt. The soldiers 
made a front wall of logs and attached a door. 
They also possibly built a crude chimney for 
a fireplace near the rear of the earthlodge. The 
entire structure was only about eight feet long 
and seven feet wide, so claustrophobia was a 
likely result if three solders were assigned to 
the dugouts, as experts think was the case. 

Life in the fort's headquarters was consid- 
erably easier than the circumstances in the 
dugouts. Items recovered from the headquar- 
ters' excavation included food residue similar 
to those from the soldiers' hut, but also turkey 
and rabbit bones, corn cobs, a grape seed, and 
acorn remains. Researchers also discovered a 


Figure 113: A food chopper with an S-shaped blade and 
several metal forks were found in the fort excavations. 

concentration of wheat, barley, and oats, 
which were apparently stored in a sack or 
sacks inside the house just before it was 
burned to the ground by invading British 

While rank had its privileges, evidence does 
paint Captain Bowie as dedicated to his post. 
He actively recruited enlistments and took care 
of his men. Even some of the cattle consumed 
by the soldiers were apparently provided by 
Bowie, perhaps from his farm near Long 
Canes Creek. But the Bowies did enjoy ameni- 
ties, besides a house above ground, that the 
troops didn't. For example, they served food 
on china, which Mrs. Bowie must have care- 
fully protected in this frontier outpost as a 
reminder of civilization. Her tableware collec- 
tion apparently didn't include a complete set of 
one pattern, however, because a mishmash of 
pieces from five different motifs emerged in 
the excavations. None of the patterns were 
especially exotic or expensive for their time, 
although Chinese export porcelain was in the 

A letter Bowie received from his command- 
ing officer provided insight into the political 
wrangling of the time. The letter contains a 
list of incumbent candidates the officer favored 
in a coming election at Ninety Six. Challeng- 
ers were trying to unseat these representatives 
to the South Carolina state assembly because 

they considered them, as Ninety Six Militia 
members, unwilling to negotiate a peaceful 
end to the war. The unwritten but implied 
order to Bowie was to command his soldiers 
to get to the poll early and to cast ballots for 
the preferred candidates. 

Near the end of 1778, the relative quiet in 
the area ended as the British fleet successfully 
stormed Savannah, Georgia, which had grown 
from a small settlement on Yamacraw Bluff to 
a city of 450 houses. The Crown officers' plan 
was to capture Augusta, which they soon did, 
and Charleston, and eventually to gain control 
of all Georgia and South Carolina. Their 
strategy for victory included an uprising of 
support from backcountry Loyalists. 

About this time, Bowie requested permis- 
sion to abandon Fort Independence and estab- 
lish another garrison. He was probably con- 
cerned about the vulnerability of the insubstan- 
tial post in the face of the heavy British attacks 
everyone now assumed were inevitable. But 
the nod to leave did not come from his com- 
manding officer until the final day of Decem- 
ber 1778. Bowie was then directed to use his 
men to build a fort closer to the Savannah 
River, and to follow construction advice from 

Figure 114: Tableware sherds found were A, Chinese 
porcelain; B, saltglazed stoneware; C, Jackfield ware, 
and D, earthenware. 

"S. Barker" 

The majority of ceramic sherds found at Fort Independence were cheap, low-status ware that 
outnumbered the finer teaware pieces by ten to one. In contrast, much more finer teaware was uncovered 
at another revolutionary post, Fort Moultree, near Charleston, a further indication that life on the periphery 
was rougher edged. 

Using an analytical formula devised by Stanley South, researchers determined a median manufacturing 
date of 1747 for the ceramics at Fort Independence, indicating they were used some 30 years before they 
were discarded. This long service was considered at least partly the result of war-time blockades, which 
prevented British goods from being imported and restricted availability of French and other European 

Other artifacts found at the fort included forks, all with only two prongs, the head from a claw hammer, 
and an ice chopper, apparently for cutting holes through lake ice. In addition, researchers uncovered a food 
chopper with an S-shaped blade and fragments from brass shoe buckles. They also found a brass trunk 
hinge, a surveyor's hinged tool probably used to measure map distances, and part of a glass lid for a 
compass. Another curiosity was a brass circular name plate inscribed "S. Barker." 

the man who had built Fort Independence, 
Captain Robert Anderson. The site of this 
second fort, also called Fort Independence, has 
not been found. 

When a Loyalist colonel named William 
Boyd arrived with about 900 men in early 
1779, he found the first Fort Independence 
empty. Boyd's troops were similar to the 
citizens' army of the Ninety Six Militia, not 
career soldiers but mostly farmers and mer- 
chants who temporarily picked up arms for a 
cause, in their case the preservation of British 
rule. Boyd and his band tried in their march 
across the territory to rouse other Loyalists to 
join them against the Rebels. They ultimately 
planned to cross the Savannah River and join 
the British Red Coats at Augusta. 

Where Bowie and his soldiers were at this 
juncture is unknown. Perhaps they were at the 
new fort or were fighting somewhere else. 
During the next year, they were to engage in 
far-flung battles. Nor do we know what Boyd 
and his Loyalist troops did when they first 
reached Fort Independence. Maybe they spent 
the night, sleeping in quarters only recently 
vacated by their enemies. They probably 
looted the place of anything useful, a common 
war-time practice on both sides. Then, in 
another familiar action of war, they set the 

entire fort on fire, including the stockade 
fence. Just about everything burned to the 

When they departed, Boyd and his force 
moved toward the Savannah River nearly five 
miles away. Researchers Richard Taylor and 
Marion Smith summarized from historical 
accounts what happened next: 

Boyd's soldiers halted near a shallow part 
of the river called Cherokee Shoals. There, 
eight Rebels occupied a blockhouse, prevent- 
ing an unobstructed crossing for the Loyalists. 
Boyd demanded that the Rebel leader, a lieu- 
tenant, surrender and gave him several hours 
to comply. But the Rebels had no intention of 
giving in, and while Boyd waited for an an- 
swer, several slipped unnoticed out of the 
blockhouse rear. They hurried across the river 
to reach Rebel troops nearby, where they 
secured a cannon. Somehow, they managed to 
get the cannon back to the blockhouse before 
Boyd's grace period ended. When the Loyalist 
commander demanded an answer from the 
Rebels, it came with a cannon blast. 

Boyd did not retaliate, perhaps realizing 
that a much larger opposing force was close, 
readying for an assault against him and his 
soldiers. Instead, he led his troops up river 
about five miles to find another place to cross. 


Figure 115: Pieces of a porringer, a shallow cup with a handle, came from the fort excavation. Fitted together, they 
form a vessel about five inches wide and three inches tall. 

Not long after, Captain Robert Anderson 
arrived at the blockhouse accompanied by 80 
to 100 militiamen, where he learned of Boyd's 
movements. Anderson decided they should 
immediately cross the Savannah River in hopes 
of reaching Georgia on the other side before 
Boyd, securing a better position in the battle 
Anderson planned to wage against him. So, 
while Boyd and his men gathered boats and 
rafts to cross the river, Anderson and his force 
forded quickly at Cherokee Shoals and set out 
northward to meet the Loyalists. 

The clash between them came where Van 
Creek flows into the Savannah, not far from 
Rucker's Bottom where so many prehistoric 
artifacts were uncovered. Anderson's militia 
arrived and began to shoot just as the Loyalists 
were climbing out of the river and up the 
banks. The Rebels were vastly outnumbered 
and outgunned, and their assault was further 
hindered by a thick growth of cane along the 
water's edge. The fight became a rout. Final- 
ly, after 20 of his men were killed and 26 
more were captured, Anderson ordered a 
retreat. Boyd's losses were also heavy, with 
100 men either killed or lost through deser- 

tion. Even though the Rebels lost the skir- 
mish, their efforts may have paved the way 
for Boyd's eventual defeat in another battle 
soon to follow. 

Not far away, Nancy and Benjamin Hart 
were now part of the Georgia forces com- 
manded by General Elijah Clark. Accounts say 
that Nancy Hart served as a spy for Clark by 
dressing like a man and acting deranged so 
that no Loyalists would suspect her as she 
moved close to observe their actions. In one of 
her exploits, she reportedly made a raft from 
logs tied together with grape vines to cross the 
Broad River and then moved in close to spy 
on Colonel William Boyd's troops. She re- 
turned safely with news for General Clark 
about the opposition's numbers and move- 
ments. When General Clark set off to fight 
Boyd's soldiers, Nancy and Benjamin Hart and 
their oldest son Morgan accompanied him. 

The Hart family fought in the battle of 
Kettle Creek on February 14, 1779, just 
southwest of the Russell Reservoir area. 
Andrew Pickens, in command of the Ninety 
Six Militia, had united with Clark and his 
troops. Together they soundly defeated the 

Figure 116: The rock cellar of Fort Independence headquarters remained intact hundreds of years later. The 
exceptionally big chimney's foundation Ls visible at the top of the photograph. 

British sympathizers in a surprise attack, 
despite having about half the number of sol- 

Many men were wounded and some 70 
soldiers died, including Colonel Boyd. Ironi- 
cally, he was killed when he was only hours 
away from the British Red Coats he had set 
out to join. On the Rebel side, Clark's horse 
was killed beneath him, but the general and 
the Harts survived. Among the Rebel heros 
was a black freedman, Austin Dabney. 

The victors freed the 26 militiamen cap- 
tured earlier in Anderson's defeat at Van 
Creek and took 23 Loyalist prisoners of their 
own. Some of these captives, apparently 
officers, were later hanged at Ninety Six. 

After the Rebel victory, there was talk that 
British attempts to retain control were finished 
for good in the territory, but those hopes 

proved premature. 

Not long after the cinders cooled at Fort 
Independence, someone, perhaps soldiers 
commanded by Anderson or Bowie, returned. 
They probably salvaged whatever useful had 
been overlooked before by the invading Loyal- 
ist troops, particularly items such as nails. 
Little was wasted in the frontier where sup- 
plies were hard to come by. 

Archeologists were able to determine that 
someone had returned to the fort because fire 
debris was deliberately collected and then 
thrown into the hole where the house cellar 
once was. Researchers concluded that this 
cleaning occurred soon after the fire because 
there were no signs in the cellar's original 
debris of weathering or of deposits moved 
around by water. Such evidence would have 
been there if the debris had been uncovered 


Figure 117: An earthenware jar, found in pieces and recon- 
structed in a drawing, was used at the fort for food storage. 

for even a month in February when the fire 
occurred. Instead, more rubble was quickly 
piled on top, including possibly burned stock- 
ade posts pried out of the ground. 

The Ninety Six Militia and Colonel John 
Bowie reappeared in war annals written about 
the efforts to reclaim the city of Savannah in 
September and October 1779. The Ninety Six 
Militia was part of a force of 5,000 men 
which included French soldiers and sailors 
commanded by Admiral Compte d'Estaing. 
British troops within the city numbered only 
2,000, yet they were able to defeat the assault 
and kill many of the opposing force. The 
French lost 635 men, while 457 Rebels died, 
compared to British losses of only 55. 

This defeat was followed in May 1780, by 
an even heavier blow to hopes for indepen- 
dence. Rebel General Benjamin Lincoln sur- 
rendered his army of 5,500 to the British, 
turning over Charleston to the Crown's con- 
trol. Now, even the Continental Congress 
conceded that all of South Carolina and Geor- 
gia was conquered territory. Victorious, the 

British paroled all militiamen on their solemn 
word not to fight again. 

More than half the South Carolina popula- 
tion, according to some estimates, was ap- 
plauding the war's apparent end, but their 
relief was premature. Not satisfied with sur- 
render and promises not to fight, the British 
began to press former militiamen to declare 
their loyalty to the king. Those who refused 
faced possible branding as traitors, even 

Such declarations of allegiance must have 
stuck in the Rebels' throats. And if many had 
a hard time accepting defeat, the urge to keep 
fighting was further fueled by the inflammato- 
ry actions of a British cavalry officer named 
Banastre Tarleton. Tarleton and his men 
cornered a regiment of Virginians who had 
traveled into South Carolina to join the fight 
against the British. The overpowered Rebels 
raised a white flag of surrender, but instead of 
accepting their submission, Tarleton ordered 
an attack, killing them all. 

Outraged by news of Tarleton 's massacre, 


Built To Last 

i.nn Robert Anderson built an especially solid house at Fort Independence. The house was probably 
one-and-a-half stories tall, with a cellar foundation made of big, closely fitted rocks with any gaps filled 
with yellow clay. At twenty-and-a-half by twenty-six-and-a-half feet, Anderson's house was bigger than 
rtx>st on the frontier, but smaller than many Charleston residences. Most frontier dwellings measured only 
sixteen by sixteen feet, a size that could be adequately heated by a single fireplace. 

Archeologists determined through excavation that Anderson designed a bigger than usual fireplace to 
compensate for the house's size, and placed the chimney flush with an outside wall. Most other houses of 
the time had chimneys exposed on three sides, making them more vulnerable to the elements than 

The cellar walls rose above ground level and had a wide door near one corner in the front side of the 
house. Archeologists detected this door from an opening they found in the stone foundation. Researchers 
also noticed a notch on one side of the opening and a charcoal stain on the other side, revealing where the 
door frame once stood. Nearby hinges showed that double doors had sealed the opening. This cellar 
entrance was reached from the outside by climbing down a steep ramp that inclined about four feet below 
ground level. 

Walls above the foundation were built of heavy hewn wood. Archeologists found imprints of the wood 
grain in burned clay once used to stuff cracks in the house. They also found similar grain impressions in 
insects' clay nests. Above the living quarters, there was a loft for supplies, topped by a roof with triangular 
gables on both sides. A window was built into the front of the house just above the cellar entrance, and 
another was placed in back. There was only one other door, also at the front, and that door was probably 
reached by climbing wooden stairs. 

other Rebels decided to break their promises 
of loyalty and fight again. Many joined gueril- 
la bands led by Thomas Sumter, Francis 
Marion, called the "Swamp Fox," and Andrew 
Pickens, the leader at the Battle of Kettle 

The Ninety Six Militia that Pickens com- 
manded resurfaced to fight in decisive battles 
that helped push the British towards the sea. 
They fought, for example, at Cowpens, South 
Carolina, where in 1781, Banastre Tarleton 
lost, through death or capture, more than 900 

The militia also attempted to recapture their 
old headquarters at the outpost of Ninety Six 
from the loyalists. General Nathanael Greene 
and Lighthorse Harry Lee, father of Robert E. 
Lee, participated in the Rebel assault. The 
militia tried to retake the town's stockades by 
firing flaming arrows and tunneling under- 
ground, but their efforts eventually failed. 
They had to retreat when 2,000 Irish troops 
arrived to help the British sympathizers. The 

Loyalists, however, willingly abandoned the 
post soon thereafter and headed for safer 
ground as they saw British chances for success 
begin to crumble. 

The Crown's forces' tum to admit irrevoca- 
ble defeat finally came in October 1781 , when 

Figure 118: A rannon pommel found at Fort Inde- 
pendence was one more reminder of the site's war- 
time history. 


Figure 119: The chimney of the headquarters was flush with the house, protecting it from the weather. Double doors 
led to the cellar down a short ramp. There was only one other door, also in front. 

General Charles Cornwallis surrendered to 
General George Washington at Yorktown, 

But in South Carolina, skirmishes erupted 
for another year while diplomats haggled over 
terms. The British army finally evacuated in 
December 1782, and set sail for home from 
Charleston harbor. 

They took with them 4,000 Loyalists who 
feared Rebel retaliation. Five-thousand of the 
colonists' slaves also went with them. 

The American Revolutionary War was 
over, but in the South Carolina backcountry, 
which encompassed the Russell Reservoir 
land, 1,400 orphans and widows were left to 


Figure 120: Millwood Plantation belonged to James Kdward Calhoun, descendant of early South Carolina farmers. 
I rosion from poor farming practices common in the region Is vlsihle in the foreground. 


Chapter 13: Ghost Towns and a King 

1783 to 1861 

There is a small point of land just south of 
the Russell Reservoir where you can stand 
between the flow of two waterways, the Sa- 
vannah and Broad Rivers. There, if you look 
closely in a clump of trees, you will see rem- 
nants of a chimney and wall and scattered 
pieces of brick in the fallen leaves and brush, 
all that is left to mark a ghost town called 
Petersburg, Georgia. 

The rest of this once thriving community is 
now submerged under water and long forgot- 
ten. But Petersburg enjoyed a boom of com- 
merce and population just after the Revolution- 
ary War as the principal commercial center 
serving the area now included in the reservoir 
boundaries. Although Petersburg was outside 
the territory studied by Russell investigators, 
its history was intertwined with the area and 
its people. 

Once the Revolutionary War ended and the 
threat of Indian raids also stopped, more 
settlers began arriving in the Savannah River 
Valley. However, for various reasons, the 
population in the reservoir area remained 
small. One reason was the skirting of the area 
by the main transportation routes, which 
crossed the Savannah River to the north and 
south. The main trails bypassed the vicinity 
because of the rugged terrain in South Caroli- 
na immediately to the east of the river. Peters- 
burg benefitted from this detour and developed 
where the major route into Georgia crossed 
the river to the south. Once the main towns of 
the region, such as Petersburg, developed 
some distance away, these communities at- 
tracted even more traffic and were soon dotted 
with schools, churches, and courts— the sign- 
posts of civilization that drew even more 

Settlers who did build homesteads within 
the more isolated reservoir area, often soon 

left, lured westward by the promise of the 
frontier. By the war's end, the frontier was no 
longer the Savannah River, but was now 
farther west at the Oconee River in central 
Georgia. Soon, however, the Oconee would 
also be deposed, and a new frontier would 
arise, and so on, river by river, as pioneers 
pushed the border relentlessly westward in 
their hunger for cheaper and better land. If the 
best bottomland was taken along the Savannah 
and the Oconee, there would surely be more 
beside another river up ahead. When the 
nation was new, there seemed to be no limits 
to the availability of good land if people were 
only daring enough to pursue it— and lucky 
enough to survive the quest. 

There were also those who left the region 
because there were already too many people to 
suit their tastes. Some settlers just didn't want 
to be close to anybody who might infringe on 
their privacy and freedom. Also, neighbors 
sometimes built fences, which were unaccept- 
able to those who wanted their livestock to 
roam free. 

But an even more prevalent cause for 
settlers to uproot themselves was the erosion 
created by their own farming practices. Land 
devoid of top soil and scarred by ditches and 
gullies quickly became common in the up- 
lands. When farmers cleared trees, which they 
often did by the wagonload, they eliminated 
the forest leaf canopy shielding the earth 
against wind and rain. Also lost were the 
many tree roots that had reached broadly 
across the landscape, holding soil in place. 
Plows further loosened the dirt in flat, unpro- 
tected expanses. The terrain was unable to 
withstand wind and rain, which soon removed 
the fertile top layer and left ravines instead. 

The area was so devastated that it became 
part of what geographer Stanley Trimble 


ligure 121: A crumbling chimney and scattered bricks are all that Is left of the ghost town of 
Petersburg, Georgia, once a thriving community on the Savannah River. 

called an "erosional tinderbox." Uplands often 
began showing erosional ditching within the 
second or third year after farmers cleared 
away trees. Instead of repairing the damage 
they had caused, many farmers instead aban- 
doned the land and set off to repeat their 
mistakes somewhere else. 

Bottomlands near the river held fertility, 
and therefore farmers, longer. But even farm- 
ers with rich soil could still catch the itch to 
go west. As plantation owner James Henry 
Hammond, who lived near Augusta, Georgia, 
wrote: "I have been trying to get over my 
desire for a Western plantation, but every time 
I see a man who has been there, it puts me in 
a fever." 

Prospective early settlers often sent only 
one member or a few of their family to the 
land along the Savannah River to assess the 
place's promise. If the scouts' reports were 
good, the rest of the family followed. In 1875, 
some members of the Rucker family, long- 
time residents of the Virginia town of Rucker- 
sville, arrived in the Georgia Piedmont. John 
Rucker soon followed and helped found Ruck- 
ersville near the Savannah River, a town that 

became an important business center during 
the 1800's. John Rucker's son, Joseph, one of 
the region's early bankers, eventually became 
Georgia's first millionaire. A neighbor, Ste- 
phen Heard, also became prominent as Geor- 
gia's governor in 1781. He established Heard- 
mont Plantation which eventually gave a 
nearby community its name. 

Because of poor transportation between the 
Piedmont and the coast, and because so many 
families had ties to the Northeast, much of 
early trade probably moved back and forth to 
the Northeast over inland wagon trails. But 
any trade was minimal. In the years immedi- 
ately following the Revolutionary War, the 
Piedmont consisted of a sparse patchwork quilt 
of small, irregularly- shaped subsistence farms. 
Class distinctions among the population were 
few, although some owned more land and 
more fertile soil. Small, independent farmers 
predominated, which suited the wishes of 
some governmental leaders, particularly in 

Georgia's British founder, James Edward 
Oglethorpe, had stipulated that slavery was 
forbidden in the colony. Nevertheless, slavery 


was already well entrenched along the coast of 
South Carolina by the time Georgia settlers 
arrived. Coastal rice planters were reaping 
enormous profits from their use of free labor, 
which stirred Georgians to want to share in the 
riches. Within 17 years, they won the right to 
own slaves, too. 

The number of slaves in both states mush- 
roomed, so that by the end of the Revolution- 
ary War, Georgia and South Carolina each had 
Black majorities, which caused concern to 
some, including Georgia Governor James 
Habersham. He promoted policies encouraging 
small farms inland to counter the rising use of 
slaves. But profits were usually small, if any, 
on the early, small Piedmont farms. More 
often, farmers merely got by— growing corn, 
wheat, rye, and sweet potatoes. They often 
kept chickens and a few cattle for their own 
consumption, and sometimes grew tobacco. 

Tobacco was the first crop to be exported 
from the upper Savannah River region, and it 
was tobacco which launched the short, but 
vibrant life of Petersburg. Dionysus Oliver, an 
entrepreneur from Virginia who founded the 
town, received the right from Georgia's state 
government to set up a tobacco inspection bam 
near the river. State officials wanted to en- 
courage exports by enhancing the reputation of 
local tobacco, which prompted inspections to 
assure that only high quality leaves left the 

The inspection station became the linchpin 
in Oliver's success with Petersburg. In the 
early 1780's, he carefully planned the town on 
land he owned, dividing the property into 86 
half-acre lots. By 1808, he had sold every lot, 
as well as the rest of his surrounding 9,000 
acres. Petersburg by 1800 included a doctor's 
office, a post office, warehouses, houses, and 
a public well. By 1804, there were at least 
nine stores. And by 1805, a newspaper, The 
Georgia and Carolina Gazette, was published 
to communicate items of interest to the grow- 
ing population. But apparently the citizens 
weren't so interested after all because the 
paper failed after a year. 

Map 17: Petersburg, Georgia, appears where the Savan- 
nah and Broad Rivers meet in this 1825 map. 

The town, according to one report, once 
boasted as many as 100 buildings. Commercial 
interests rather than residential ones dominat- 
ed, and the lifeblood of the place became the 
Savannah River nearby because of its useful- 
ness in transporting tobacco. Oliver's town 
became widely known as the place where 
tobacco was loaded onto Petersburg 
boats— shallow-bottomed keel vessels— then 
transported downstream. 


immunity's influence even stretched 
.vith the election of two residents, 
hades Tail and Dr. William Wyatt 
Bibb, to the United States Senate. Less favor- 
able, however, were some reports recounting 
titude of superiority among the "cosmo- 
politan" and "staid" Virginians in control of 
the town. 

Not far away, two other towns— Lisbon and 
Vienna— straddled the same juncture of rivers 
as Petersburg, but neither was as prosperous 
as Oliver's brainchild. Petersburg had access 
not only to river transportation, but was also 
part of the stagecoach route south to Augusta, 
and another line that ran from Milledgeville, 
Georgia, all the way to Washington, D.C. 
Business owners, residents, and visitors alike 
must have foreseen only a bright future for the 
community, making its swift collapse all the 
more cruel. 

An observer wrote in 1849 after visiting 
Petersburg: "This was once among the pros- 
perous towns in Georgia, but it is now in a 
state of dilapidation. A feeling of melancholy 
and loneliness is experienced by the visitor 
when he remembers what the town was in 
former days." 

Just as river transportation contributed to 
the town's success, it also played a part in its 
failure. Steamboats began coursing up and 
down the Savannah in 1810, traveling as far 
north as Augusta, which became more impor- 
tant as a result. But the big boats, capable of 
carrying much more cargo and passengers than 
the Petersburg keel boats, couldn't go past 
Augusta because of the many shoals in the 
river beyond there. Later, when the railroads 
came, the trains passed through Augusta as 
well, not Petersburg, sealing its doom. The 
town went from being in the center of activity 
to finding itself off the beaten path. Even the 
post office closed by 1855. Not even letters 
were leaving Petersburg anymore. 

Like so many other places, Petersburg's 
depopulation was also a result of the lure of 
the frontier. Some of the community's most 
prominent citizens, who originally came from 

Virginia, couldn't resist the urge to go west, 
and moved to Alabama starting about 1810. 
An outbreak of yellow fever may have also 
occurred and further emptied the town. 

But apart from these factors, the other 
major cause for Petersburg's demise was the 
advent of a new crop, cotton. Cotton changed 
everything. In 1793, Eli Whitney invented the 
cotton gin in Augusta, and soon the crop 
dominated so completely that people began 
calling it "King Cotton". The central sections 
of Georgia and South Carolina, including the 
reservoir area, became the main cotton-pro- 
ducing region for the entire country. 

Unlike tobacco, cotton needed no inspec- 
tion, and as more farmers turned away from 
tobacco to grow cotton, one of Petersburg's 
main reasons for existence disappeared. In 
fact, the development of cotton plantations 
decreased the need for towns generally be- 
cause plantations were largely self sufficient. 
Planters often built their own cotton gins and 
mills for grinding corn and grain into meal, 
and allowed small farmers nearby to use the 
facilities for a fee. 

Before the Civil War, there was little other 
industrialization in the South because the 
wealthy did most of their investing in more 
land and slaves to work it. A few mills and 
textile plants not associated with plantations 
did exist in the reservoir area, but not many. 

Petersburg was not the only community to 
disappear. Edinburg, Georgia, established by 
early Scottish settlers, also vanished in a 
relatively short time. In contrast, a few small 
towns were born during this period, mainly as 
supply centers for small farmers. Lowndes- 
ville, South Carolina, was such a place, and 
continues as a small community today. In 
1823, the town was called Pressley's Post Of- 
fice, but that was changed to Rocky River 
Post Office in 1831. Altered a final time in 
1836, the town was renamed Lowndesville to 
honor William Lowndes, a United States 

Lowndesville offers further evidence, in the 
story of one of its early prominent residents, 


Figure 122: Cotton caused dramatic change, including the death of Petersburg and the spread of slavery. Oxen pulled 
a wagon heaped with cotton bales into early Abbeville, South Carolina. 

of how quickly fortunes could change for the 
worse. The town's development spread out 
around a store operated by Matthew Young, 
who was also the postmaster after 1831. By 
the 1850's, Lowndesville had grown to include 
two general stores, a Masonic hall, a bank, 
and a hotel, which Young built to lure tour- 
ists. He had also invested heavily in a resort 
lodge at nearby Diamond Springs. But the 
spring's mineral water didn't attract enough 
visitors to be profitable, and the resort went 
bankrupt. Young eventually sold his hotel in 
Lowndesville and joined the parade west, 
settling in Mississippi. 

The plantation, an idea originated in the 
Caribbean, spread to the rice paddies of coast- 
al Georgia and South Carolina, and then 
proved ideal for making profits from cotton. 

The cotton gin also spurred success because 
it eliminated the previous time-consuming and 
tedious process of separating seeds from cotton 
fiber by hand. The gin used steel spikes and 
brushes attached to rollers to do the job quick- 
ly. Now, great quantities of cotton bolls could 
be processed in just a few hours, instead of 
the days the same task used to take. Free of 
seeds, cotton then was sent to textile factories 
in England, where it was woven into cloth. 
Eventually, raw cotton also went to textile 
factories in New England. 

The change over to cotton and plantations 
occurred steadily throughout the first decade 
of the 1800's, but not everyone was convinced 
to switch to the crop. Embargoes preceding 
the War of 1812, the war itself, and uneasi- 
ness caused by Napoleon Bonaparte's potential 


Figure 123: The building that once housed the bank in Ixmndesville, South Carolina, 
is now abandoned. The town lost population because of soil erosion and the destructive 
boll weevil invasion. 

effect on the cotton market retarded the transi- 
tion somewhat. Then peace prospects in 1814 
sent cotton prices soaring. From a low of eight 
to ten cents per pound in 1808 and 1809, the 
price shot up to 19 cents a pound in the sum- 
mer of 1815. By 1817, cotton was bringing 
3 1 .25 cents per pound, and the coronation was 
complete. Cotton became the indisputable 

Slave holding also became big business, 
even as many Whites continued to leave the 
area. Farmers, discouraged by erosion, the 
need to continually clear new land, and poor 
profits, regularly left, while those who could 
buy more land and slaves stayed and became 
the society's leaders. 

In 1790, the local population included many 
more Whites than slaves. Figures from Abbe- 
ville County, South Carolina, which includes 
part of the reservoir area, show what hap- 
pened next. Between 1810 and 1850, the 
county's White population decreased from 
14,407 to 12,604. During the same period, the 
slave population increased dramatically from 
6.664 to 19,391. By 1850. in Abbeville Coun- 
ty, 60 percent of the population was slaves. 

While every county along the upper Savan- 
nah River didn't have the same high percent- 

age of slaves, the trend of rapidly swelling 
Black populations was repeated throughout the 
region. By 1860 and the eve of the Civil War, 
Hart County, which includes the northern 
portion of the reservoir area on the Georgia 
side of the Savannah River, had a population 
that was 30 percent slave. 

Among the most prominent planters and 
slaveowners locally was James Edward Cal- 
houn. Sometimes a visionary, Calhoun had an 
exploring mind and was often willing to exper- 
iment. He was born July 4, 1798, to a family 
who had known the worst of frontier life. 
Calhoun's maternal grandmother was among 
those killed in an Indian raid at the family's 
first settlement in the region near Long Canes 
Creek. Calhoun's father, John Ewing Calhoun, 
grew up in the area, eventually became rich, 
and was elected to the U.S. Senate. When he 
died in 1802, he bequeathed to James Edward, 
still just a boy, substantial amounts of land and 

By age 18, James Edward Calhoun had 
joined the navy. He traveled widely in the 
service, sailing the Caribbean and Atlantic 
Oceans, and the Mediterranean Sea, attaining 
the rank of lieutenant, and gaining some 
knowledge of three languages besides English. 


Numbers Tell The Story 

Information gathered by Linda Worthy shows how, as time passed, more and more Whites owned 
slaves. She studied tax records in Elbert County, which includes the southern part of the study area in 
Georgia, and found that in 1809 slightly more than half of the landowners had slaves. By 1851, nearly 80 
percent did. 

The hierarchical nature of Southern White society in 1 85 1 is illustrated by other figures from part of 
the same county. The lowest rung of White society belonged to those who owned no land, and their number 
was indeterminate because they didn't appear in tax records. Nonetheless, they probably comprised an 
insignificant portion of the population. 

Of those who did own land, 23 percent didn't have slaves, and 24 percent owned fewer than five. The 
middle class, fairly well-to-do farmers not wealthy enough to be considered planters, was the fastest 
growing group among Whites, and before the Civil War comprised 35 percent of landowners. A middle- 
class farmer had between six to 19 slaves. Experts generally classify those with more than 20 slaves as 
plantation owners or planters, and almost 19 percent of the landowners fit this category. Of these planters, 
only three owned more than 100 slaves apiece. Put another way, these three planters owned 26 percent of 
all the slaves in this part of Elbert County. 

Slavery assumed more importance in the reservoir area than in some other parts of the South. Some 
experts, for example, estimate that three-fifths of all Georgians owned no slaves. 

Map 18: The Russell study area was part of the leading cotton-producing section of the country in 1820. The long 
growing season was ideal for the crop. Each dot represents 2,000 cotton bales. 


Map 19: By 1850, cotton production had spread throughout the South. 

Calhoun also accompanied a military mis- 
sion into the northern frontier of the United 
States where he developed a life-long fascina- 
tion with the Indians. Later, he sometimes fed 
his plantation slaves a dried beef called pem- 
mican, which he copied from the Indians. He 
explained how to make the food in a letter: 

"For several years, I have made, and al- 
ways shall make, Pemican for my negroes. All 
the flesh parts of a Beef are cut into steaks, 
thin as possible; these are put over a fire of 
dry heat, made of bark or corn cobs, on a 
frame... If the fire be kept up steadily and the 
steaks turned a few times, by sunset, the meat 
will be safe...." 

In his early life, he spelled his name Col- 
houn, but later changed it to Calhoun for 
reasons that aren't known. Slender and of 
medium height, James Edward Calhoun was 
known for his erect military posture, even in 
old age. Early in adulthood, he developed into 
a prolific correspondent, and among those he 

wrote was his older cousin John C. Calhoun, 
a United States senator and ultimately vice 
president of the country. John C. Calhoun had 
tremendous political influence and is consid- 
ered by many to be the intellectual father of 
the idea that the South should secede from the 
Union. He married James Edward Calhoun's 
sister, Floride Bonneau Calhoun, making the 
two men brothers-in-law, as well as cousins. 

Throughout his military career, James 
Edward Calhoun's land was managed by paid 
overseers and family members, although he 
made some decisions via the mails regarding 
his properties. He also took several extended 
leaves to spend time in South Carolina. Al- 
though he was rich compared to most others, 
his plantation didn't prove terribly successful 
financially, at least initially. Like many cotton 
planters, Calhoun was often "land long and 
labor short", with never enough workers. 

According to a team of researchers headed 
by Charles Orser from Loyola University of 


Figure 124: James Edward Calhoun was born circa 1798, son of a U. S. senator, 
cousin to a U. S. vice-president. He was a leading figure in the Russell study area. 

Chicago, Calhoun borrowed money every year 
to plant new crops in his early life as a plant- 
er. Consequently, he had to subtract substan- 
tial debt payments before any profits could be 
realized when crops were harvested. To re- 
duce his debts, Calhoun's relatives tried to sell 
some of his land while he was at sea. How 
successful they were is unknown, but in 1827 
his brother wrote him that, "... times are so 
dreadful that there is no possibility of selling 

any kind of property." 

More bad news came in another of his 
brother's letters about the same time: "From 
present prices, I doubt it [the cotton crop] will 
do more than meet the current expenses of the 
plantation. . . .There must be a change of staple, 
or we shall be most of us ruined." Corn and 
cotton were the primary crops on Calhoun's 
land at the time. 

Despite his brother's pessimism, Calhoun 


Map 20: Millwood Plantation was farthest south of all sites excavated during the investigations. 
Other important historical sites studied are also shown. 


Figure 125: Millwood Plantation was part of James Edward Calhoun's 15,000 acres in Georgia and South Carolina. This 
enlargement of an 1879 photograph shows the main settlement. 

was far from ruin. The lackluster performance 
of his holdings in his absence, however, 
perhaps encouraged him to quit the navy and 
return to manage his estate himself. Then, too, 
he had already developed a fascination with 
the latest agricultural and mechanical innova- 
tions, interests difficult to pursue on board 
ship. His mother was also urging him to 
return to help manage her plantation. 

He arrived on leave in 1830 and never went 
back to the navy, finally resigning his commis- 
sion in 1832. By then, he was. already throw- 
ing his considerable energy into running 
plantations. Calhoun read widely about the 
latest developments in agriculture, correspond- 
ed with many about new techniques, and was 
a keen observer. An early advocate in the 
Piedmont of crop rotation and fertilizer, which 
many of his neighbors ignored until later, 
Calhoun apparently thought many of his neigh- 

bors' ideas about agriculture were backward. 

When he returned to South Carolina, the 
young planter was quite distressed at the 
condition of soil on his land. In 1832, he 
wrote: "Being able, at last, to bestow individu- 
al attention to my affairs, I have commenced 
the improvement of my lands, which have 
been shamefully abused by overseers. " He also 
wrote: "So little regard has been paid to 
resting the soil, that I find much of it inclined 
to bake or run together, though naturally a 
delightful mellow earth." 

To improve his property, Calhoun threw 
trash and brush into gullies to help hold the 
soil and planted small grains in as much of his 
cleared land as he thought he could spare from 
producing cotton and corn. He further revital- 
ized the earth by plowing in dead plants as 
organic fertilizer, a step he described useful 
"to impregnate" the land. To keep the crucial 


Figure 126: Calhoun's last probable residence is the building with two chimneys visible behind the well. The Millwood 
house was far from the grand mansion many assume was the norm for plantations. 

top layer from eroding further, he invented a 
new form of plowing, apparently a type of 
contour plowing that he called "Loxotising," a 
combination of Greek and Latin words mean- 
ing plowing obliquely. 

Calhoun's first plantation was called Mid- 
way. Soon, however, he began shifting opera- 
tions to a place known as Millwood. Appar- 
ently a combination of inherited land and 
acreage he bought beginning in the early 
1830's, Millwood would serve as Calhoun's 
home for the rest of his life. 

Eventually, Millwood stretched in a skinny 
band for about seven miles along both sides of 
the Savannah River in Abbeville County, 
South Carolina, and Elbert County, Georgia. 
The plantation encompassed about 10,000 
acres and became Calhoun's place to fulfill his 
ambitious dreams, which featured the river in 
a prominent role. His idea was to use the 
shoals to harness the river's power to operate 

a manufacturing center which would supple- 
ment his agricultural income. 

In July, 1832, Calhoun ordered work begun 
on the first element to make his vision come 
true. He would build a dam across the shallow 
part of the river in a spot called Trotter's 
Shoals, named after a man who owned the 
land before the Revolutionary War. The dam 
would help power mills Calhoun intended to 
build. But the construction didn't go well. By 
August 7, Calhoun had fired the man he hired 
at a wage of 50 cents a day to build the dam. 
Then, later in the month, the river rose and 
destroyed the dam, which Calhoun contended 
was poorly built. Eventually, though, he did 
succeed in placing a dam across the river to 
power various mills. 

Calhoun's personal life is less- well docu- 
mented, but nonetheless has triggered many 
tales centered around romantic loss. He mar- 
ried only once, to Maria Edgeworth Simkins 


who came from a family that lived not far 
away. The marriage took place in 1839 and, 
from all accounts, was a happy union. The 
couple shared an interest in gardening, and in 
one of her letters Maria wrote to her husband 
about planting new shrubs along the walkway 
into the main complex at Millwood. 

Calhoun, in a letter dated 1843, proudly 
announced to Maria that they now had a new 
structure for preserving ice— an ice house. 
Always eager to try something new, Calhoun 
possibly enjoyed cool drinks that summer with 
his wife while they talked about their various 
enterprises and dreams. 

But by 1844, Maria Simkins was dead. By 
some reports, she died in childbirth. Her loss 
seems to have devastated Calhoun, who, 
according to local oral tradition, lost his 
religious faith and became a social recluse, the 
"Hermit of Millwood." Perhaps he regained 
some religious inclinations later in life because 
he apparently donated wood for an altar to an 
Abbeville church, but there seems little doubt 
that his wife's death hit Calhoun hard. 

At the time of Maria's death, workers were 
either adding to the Calhouns' house or build- 

ing an entirely new one, the record is unclear. 
According to local lore, a distraught Calhoun 
boarded up forever a house he associated with 
his wife, either the house they had shared just 
before her death or a new one under construc- 

Some say the house Calhoun was building 
for his wife was either shaped like a boat or 
had boat-like characteristics. Perhaps this was 
the house he abandoned, or possibly their 
original home resembled a boat and he left it 
forever. Another version of the story has 
Calhoun responding to his wife's death by 
sealing up their former residence, with the 
furniture still inside, and moving into another 
house built like a boat. That is the account 
described as the "boat-house myth" printed in 
a 1933 article of The Abbeville Press and 

"The house in which he [Calhoun] and his 
wife had lived so happily, he had boarded up, 
declaring that no human being should ever 
enter it again. He built a house for himself 
which he patterned after a ship with port holes 
instead of windows high up; there was a 
balcony which ran around the wall beneath the 

Figure 127: A blue, pearlware platter rim was found in the Millwood excavations. Historic dinnerware, like prehistoric 
ceramics, is useful for dating the period of archeological sites. 


Map 21: (Georgia and South Carolina were no longer leaders in growing cotton by I860 when the heaviest production 
had shifted west to Alabama, Mississippi, and Ix>ulsiana. 

port holes; this was reached by a ladder which 
could be drawn up to the building after as- 
cending it." 

Russell Reservoir researchers found no 
direct evidence supporting the existence of the 
boat house and concluded that Calhoun proba- 
bly lived throughout the pre-Civil-War era in 
a home built for an overseer— but the legend 

Archeologists did find what they thought 
were the remains of the original house Cal- 
houn occupied at Millwood. They uncovered 
a rectangular foundation, and concluded that if 
this was indeed what was left of the infamous 
boat house, the residence wasn't shaped like a 
boat, after all. The possibility exists, however, 
that the interior had nautical decorations or 
that the upstairs in some form resembled a 

While excavating the site of what they 
thought was Calhoun's original house, re- 
searchers found part of the original brick floor 

in what was once one of the two downstairs 
rooms. Over time, most of the floor had been 
removed, probably for use elsewhere. This 
house, once the focal point of power for a 
large plantation, was eventually abandoned and 
later used for storage, or, more probably, for 
trash disposal. 

The boat house stories likely contributed to 
a reputation Calhoun developed as an eccen- 
tric. Energy others of his class often devoted 
to social activities with one another, Calhoun, 
after his wife's death, applied to Millwood. 
His experimenting continued and included 
trying to grow exotic plants and new varieties 
of more traditional crops. Calhoun planted 
oats, barley, red and white clover, rye, pe- 
cans, corn seed from Rhode Island, and "wild 
orange sprouts. " He also tried growing various 
kinds of grain such as Haley, Malaga, New 
Holland, and Mexican wheat, as well as mul- 
berries, peaches, grapevines, and holly. Dur- 
ing most of his adult years, Calhoun also 


cultivated different tea plants from around the 

Millwood's riverside location gave Calhoun 
a distinct advantage over growers who were 
far removed from the water. Except when the 
river was dangerously low and Calhoun was 
forced to use land transportation, he could 
easily ship cotton and other crops down the 
Savannah. Those who lived near the river, 
especially those like Calhoun who owned their 
own boat-landing docks, negotiated with boat 
captains for the best rates to carry goods down 
the often treacherous river. The river captains 
made the trip on the same flat-bottomed boats 
identified with Petersburg. The boats were 
about 70 to 75 feet long and five to six feet 
wide, with shallow bottoms dipping below the 
water only 15 to 20 inches. A single keel boat 
could carry up to ten tons or 80 bales of 

The boats carried cotton to Augusta at a 
cost of between 75 cents and one dollar per 
bale. The price rose during droughts when the 
river level dropped, making the journey more 
hazardous. As harvest neared, planters and 
farmers intending to ship their cotton by water 
must have kept one eye on the river. If the 
water dipped too low, the keel 
boats— propelled only by the river and boat- 
men with long poles— were stranded. They 
couldn't make it over the shoals. 

Planters, who were able, often sent cotton 
to market by wagon in dry weather and by 
boat in wetter times. Whether a reliable crew 
was available to ship goods at the right time 
also influenced the method of transit growers 
chose. Calhoun eventually surmounted the 
problem of boat availability by owning his 
own fleet. Under the best of circumstances, 
however, travel down the Savannah could 
prove perilous. The U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers surveyed the river in 1879 when 
conditions hadn't changed much since before 

the Civil War. The surveyors found that 
obstacles were numerous and "not infrequently 
quite dangerous. " 

Initially, there was little cooperation be- 
tween Georgia and South Carolina officials 
about clearing the river. Prodded by public 
complaints and a mutual desire to see com- 
merce enhanced, the two governments finally 
acted after the War of 1812, and their efforts 
succeeded, briefly. A government report in 
1 824 stated that the river had been cleared for 
passage all the way from the northernmost part 
of the reservoir area to the Atlantic Ocean. 
But silt and debris soon clogged the river 
again, and state governments turned their 
hopes for better transportation to the railroads. 
Railroads, however, were insignificant in the 
area before the Civil War. Only a poorly- 
financed rail line, described as "flimsy," 
flanked the South Carolina side of the area, 
apparently too far away to have much impact. 
On the Georgia side of the river, some people 
used a railroad connecting Athens with Augus- 
ta, but again, for most, the line was too far 
away to be practical. Road travel also was 
often difficult, if not impossible, because of 
poor surface maintenance and mud. 

The lack of good transportation probably 
contributed to the Piedmont's loss of domi- 
nance in the cotton industry. By the 1850's, 
land along the Mississippi River and in west- 
ern Alabama had deposed Georgia and South 
Carolina as leaders in cotton production. By 
then, cotton growing was also expanding into 
eastern Texas, with some of the planters 
further west importing their slaves from the 
upper Savannah River region. Cotton and 
slaves remained important in the area near the 
Savannah River, but poor transportation and 
short-sighted farming methods had taken their 
toll. Stunted growth in potential markets also 
was destructive. Buyers turned cautious as a 
nervous nation stumbled toward another war. 


jghing Cotton, Columbus, §c 

lifjure I2S: An old postcard entitled, "Ploughing Cotton, ColumbttS, G*.," captures tlie image of Black children and 
adults working in cotton fields. White overseers stand at the end of the rows. 


Chapter 14: From Cradle to Grave 

1783 to 1863 

Cotton's reign exacted an inestimable 
human price with its dependence on the free 
labor of slaves, many of whom spent their 
entire lives in bondage and were physically 
abused. Without this forced toil— often carried 
out from sunrise to sunset with only the brief- 
est respites— plantation owners likely would 
never have been so successful. 

But owning slaves was by no means re- 
stricted to wealthy planters with thousands of 
acres. Even farmers with much less land were 
attracted to slavery and the dollars cotton 
could bring. Steadily, from 1810 to 1850, 
more and more farmers entered into slave 
holding in the four counties comprising the 
Russell Reservoir area, a situation repeated 
throughout the South. 

Statistics, however, cannot explain what it 
meant to be a slave. For that, historians turned 
to observers' accounts from the period and 
reminiscences of former slaves and their 
offspring. Many of the statements, particularly 
about conditions in Elbert and Hart Counties 
in Georgia, were collected in the Federal 
Writer's Project of the Works Progress Ad- 
ministration between 1936 and 1938. While 
the descriptions reflect individual experience, 
they also provide impressions about a way of 
life imposed on thousands of others. 

Benny Dillard's recollections about his 
mother were the only ones to trace all the way 
back to a slave's capture in Africa. He told 
how his mother's years of servitude began 
with a boat journey that took more than six 
months to reach the United States. Only about 
16 years old at the time, she lost not only her 
freedom, but also her identity. A slave trader 
in Virginia gave her the single name of Nancy 
before she was transported to Georgia. 

Charlie Hudson recalled watching wagon 
trains carrying slaves as they passed through 

the area on their way from Virginia. Born a 
slave in 1858, Hudson further described an 
involuntary separation from his parents that 
was common for slaves. His mother lived on 
one Elbert County plantation and his father 
lived on another. 

Work began for most slaves by age seven 
when they started to tote water to workers in 
the fields and pick up stones in the way of 
plows. Until then, children wore little cloth- 
ing, only an old guano or corn meal bag or 
tow linen shirt and nothing else. By age 10 or 
12, children stopped performing the lighter 
tasks and assumed adult work, although their 
output wasn't expected to be as great. Planters 
measured how much work a slave could do 
against the productivity of a healthy male 
hand, and children might be considered "quar- 
ter hands" under this gauge. 

Slaves were grouped into three cate- 
gories—field hands, house servants, and 
skilled craftsmen, such as blacksmiths, ma- 
sons, and carpenters. Overlapping responsibili- 
ties were not uncommon, however, depending 
on the slaveowner's needs. The lowest rung 
was field hand and comprised the majority. 
Field hands included men, women, and chil- 
dren who worked side by side. 

A field hand's duties depended on the 
seasons, and revolved around planting, culti- 
vating, and harvesting crops. Farmers with 
only a few slaves often worked along with 
them in the fields, while wealthier planters 
tended to organize labor into gangs with an 
overseer or slave driver in control. The over- 
seer's responsibility was to force maximum 
effort out of everyone. Demanding that a field 
hand pick 300 pounds of cotton in a single day 
was not unusual, and any who failed were 
subject to lashing with a whip on many planta- 
tions and farms. 


I in ii re 129: The blacksmith was considered a skilled craftsman and therefore more valuable as a slave than field hands, 
which included women and young children. 

In fact, cruelty and physical punishment 
were common for any number of infractions, 
according to Austin Steward, a slave for 22 
years: "I must first say that it is not true that 
slaveowners are respected for kindness to their 
slaves. The more tyrannical a master is, the 
more will he be favorably regarded by his 
neighboring planters; and from the day that he 
acquires the reputation of a kind and indulgent 
master, he is looked upon with suspicion, and 
sometimes hatred, and his slaves are watched 
more closely than before." 

Field hands weren't the only ones subject to 
abuse. Steward recalled house servants suffer- 
ing at the hands of the mistress, whom he 
described as a "great scold" : "...continually 
finding fault with some of the servants, and 
frequently punishing the young slaves herself, 
by striking them over the head with a heavy 

iron key, until the blood ran; or else whipping 
them with a cowhide, which she always kept 
by her side.... The older servants she would 
cause to be punished by having them severely 
whipped by a man, which she never failed to 
do for every trifling fault." 

While conditions varied for slaves, depend- 
ing on their owners' dispositions, harsh pun- 
ishment was widely accepted. James Edward 
Calhoun revealed in a letter soon after he 
moved to Millwood his own tactics for slave 
control: "Day before yesterday, one of the 
negroes lodged complaint against Abbeville 
William, who took himself off, apprehensive 
of a flogging. Have a good lookout kept for 
the rascal, & if you can catch him give him, 
in the first place, as soon as he can be tied, 
100 lashes & then have him put in jail." 

Calhoun continued by advising that the 


Figure 130: Black women at Millwood Plantation washed clothes in steaming kettles and wood barrels in 1875, similar 
to how James Edward Calhoun's slaves worked. 

slave should then be sold for $700 or $650, 
"always cash in hand." However, he also 
reserved the option of punishing the slave 
himself, "as an example." 

Slaves depended on masters for even the 
most basic needs— food, clothing, and shelter. 
Adequately meeting those requirements to 
protect his investment was in the slaveholder's 
best interest. But he also had a competing 
objective of keeping costs low. Most resolved 
the conflict by providing the least subsistence 
possible, housing slaves in flimsy structures 
the servants were forced to build for them- 
selves, clothing them in the cheapest fabrics 
slave women were often required to sew, and 
feeding them small amounts of the poorest 
food which was rationed by the day or week. 

Most Southern slave dwellings, including 
those in the reservoir boundaries, were small. 
These houses consisted of single or double 

rooms built of logs, which were commonly 
available on the plantation because trees need- 
ed to be cleared to make way for fields. Also, 
log houses required the least effort to build, 
which was important because field labor 
therefore wasn't lost for long. Some plantation 
owners also wanted to keep slave housing 
insubstantial because they planned eventually 
to move slaves to other cabins, close to newly- 
cleared fields. 

Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Cen- 
tral Park in New York City, traveled through 
the South in 1853 and 1854, and wrote about 
slave cabins he saw in South Carolina: "It was 
a very large plantation, and all the buildings 
were substantial and commodious, except the 
negro-cabins, which were the smallest I had 
seen— I thought not more than twelve feet 
square interiorly. They stood in two rows, 
with a wide street between them. They were 


Map 22: Karlv in the nation's history, slaves comprised 70 percent of the population along the Georgia and South 
( arolina coasts. 

built of logs, with no windows— no opening at 
all, except the doorway, with no trees about 
them, or porches, or shades of any kind." 

Carrie Hudson, a slave on Joseph (Squire) 
Rucker's plantation in Elbert County, ex- 
plained that slave children usually slept on 
floor pallets. Adults used a bed made of poles 
nailed into the wall and floor. The bed was 
fitted with crosswise planks and a coarse cloth 
tick filled with wheat straw for the mattress. 

The content, quality, and preparation of 
meals differed from place to place. Sometimes 
older workers, no longer useful in the fields, 
were designated to do communal cooking. 
Slaves elsewhere were fed similarly in groups, 
but were individually responsible for preparing 
their own evening meals, which they cooked 
in mud and stick fireplaces that also provided 
heat in their cabins. Fatty salt pork and corn 
meal were the normal food. Occasionally 
slaves supplemented their regular stipend with 

game they hunted and fresh vegetables some 
were allowed to grow after their workdays 

Charlie Hudson fared a little better, possi- 
bly because his mother was the master's cook 
and had access to other food, including milk 
and butter. Among his better memories was 
opossum she baked with butter. Hudson also 
ate a dish first devised by the Indians, lye 
hominy from corn. 

But Austin Steward remembered leaner 
times: "The slaves on our plantation were 
provided with very little meat. In addition to 
the peck of corn or meal, they were allowed a 
little salt and a few herrings. If they wished 
for more, they were obliged to earn it by 
over-work. They were permitted to cultivate 
small gardens, and were thereby enabled to 
provide themselves with trifling conveniences. 
But these gardens were only allowed to some 
of the more industrious." 


No Dota 

Map 23: By the start of the Civil War in 1860, slavery had spread heavily throughout the South. Black majorities were 
now commonplace in the entire region. 

Meals during field chores were often pre- 
pared by slave cooks, then carried out to the 
workers so there was little disruption of their 
labor. Despite their strenuous work, the food 
field hands were served was meager, remem- 
bered Steward: "All the field hands were 
required to give into the hands of the cook a 
certain portion of their weekly allowance, 
either in dough or meal, which was prepared 
in the following manner. The cook made a hot 
fire and rolled up each person's portion in 
some cabbage leaves, when they could be 
obtained, and placed it in a hole in the ashes, 
carefully covered with the same, where it 
remained until done. Bread baked in this way 
is very sweet and good. But then cabbage 
leaves could not always be obtained. When 
this was the case, the bread was little better 
than a mixture of dough and ashes, which was 
not very palatable." 

Their clothes were often equally substan- 

dard and quickly showed the effects of their 
wearers' toil. Olmsted described how women 
field hands were dressed: "...coarse gray 
gowns, generally very much burned and dirty; 
which, for greater convenience of working in 
the mud, were reefed up with a cord drawn 
tightly about the body, a little above the 
hips— the spare amount of skirt bagging out 
between this and the waist proper. On their 
legs were loose leggins or pieces of blanket or 
bagging wrapped about, and lashed with 
thongs; and they wore very heavy shoes. Most 
of them had handkerchiefs, only, tied around 
their heads; some wore men's caps, or old 
slouched hats, and several were bareheaded." 
A year's allotment of ready-made clothing 
for men and materials for women to make 
their own were detailed by a South Carolina 
planter: "Each man gets in the fall two shirts 
of cotton drilling, a pair of woolen pants and 
a woolen jacket. In the spring, two shirts of 


I- innr** 131: Farm buildings associated with a woman's chores, such as this wellhouse, were 
closer to the house, while buildings used mostly by men were farther away. 

cotton shirting and two pr. of cotton 
pants.... Each woman gets in the fall six yds. 
of woolen cloth, six yds. of cotton drilling and 
needle, skein of thread and one-half dozen 
buttons. In the spring six yds. of cotton shirt- 
ing and six yds. of cotton cloth similar to that 
for men's pants, needle, thread, and buttons. 
Each worker gets a stout pr. of shoes each 
fall, and a heavy blanket every third year." 

As their title implied, slaves existed solely 
to do the work of masters, but for luckier ones 
there were moments of pleasure derived from 
the company of other slaves and during the 
festivities some slaveholders occasionally 
allowed. Most field hands worked six days a 
week with Sundays off for rest and religious 
services generally encouraged by masters. 

Carrie Hudson recalled when slaves re- 
turned from the fields at night how they want- 
ed only to rest. But Saturday nights were 
special because they were permitted to dance 
and play the banjo. Christmas, however, was 
the treasured time for children because, 
"...there would be plenty of fresh meat, and 
there was heaps of good chickens, turkeys, 

cake, candies, and just everything good." 

Slaves celebrated the holiday by visiting 
one another's cabins, but when New Year's 
Day arrived they returned to work. Other 
pleasurable activities Carrie Hudson recounted 
were corn shuckings and cotton picking by 
torch light on fall nights, after which slaves 
were permitted to dance and eat well. Log 
rollings were her favorite, however, and again 
were marked by music, food, and also whis- 
key in kegs. Her master organized and pro- 
visioned those events, and gave a prize to the 
hand who picked the most cotton. 

In cold months, when there was less field 
work, slaves sometimes were allowed to 
arrange for themselves quilting parties with 
sewing, food, and drink. 

While these few indulgences may have 
eased their lot somewhat, the fact remained 
that slaves were prisoners in a labor camp. 
Most were rarely allowed to leave their mas- 
ters' land, but if they were granted permission 
they were often required to carry passes attest- 
ing to their owners' intentions allowing them 
to go. These permits could be demanded by 


R.B.R.-7V / 
Dam Site ; y 

Map 24: Important historic sites studied included plantations and farms. 


Figure 132: The William Allen House on Beverly Plantation in Klbert County is considered 
plantation plain style. 

groups of White enforcers, called the "Patrol", 
that existed throughout the South. The Patrol 
tried to prevent slave escape and rebellion, and 
punished those caught with whippings and 

Slaves eventually outnumbered Whites, who 
compensated for the difference by any method 
of subjugation they considered useful. As 
Austin Steward explained: "No slave could 
possibly escape being punished— I care not 
how attentive they might be, nor how industri- 
ous—punished they must be, and punished 
they certainly were." 

Slave supervision was integral to the way 
buildings were arranged on plantations. Merle 
Prunty described this arrangement as "nucleat- 
ed", meaning most buildings were grouped 
together. The planter's residence, slave cabins 
arranged in rows along short roads, and ser- 
vice buildings, such as barns and sheds, were 
all clustered close to each other. Based on a 
Georgia rice plantation near the coast, this 
picture of plantation life applied to some 
landholdings in the Russell area, but there 
were also deviations dictated by the differences 
in raising rice and cotton. 

Researcher Marlessa Gray designated two 
more settlement patterns in the reservoir area 
besides the nucleated one. The semi-nucleated 
form resembled the nucleated, but buildings 
were further apart. The conglomerate pattern 
divided buildings into several clusters, 
grouped by activities. Sometimes these indi- 
vidual clusters were a considerable distance 

Researchers found the conglomerate pattern 
the most representative of the region's large 
plantations because of cotton's rapid exhaus- 
tion of the soil. On a regular basis, new fields 
had to be cleared and planted, and these fields 
were sometimes not contiguous to the original 
settlement. As a result, more service build- 
ings, and sometimes slave and overseer dwell- 
ings, were built in satellite communities close 
to the new fields. Occasionally, even the 
planter's residence was shifted closer to new 
fields to let him supervise more easily. In 
contrast, rice fields, kept fertile by frequent 
immersion in nutrient-rich water, were contin- 
uously reused, as were nearby buildings. 

The shift to a conglomerate pattern usually 
occurred on plantations after three to five 


Figure 133: The exterior end chimneys and front porch of the Allen House are features of 
the plantation plain style. 

years when the soil was depleted and new 
fields were needed. James Edward Calhoun 
made such a change when he gradually ex- 
panded his Midway Plantation holdings, then 
established slaves and an overseer on his new 
plantation, called Millwood. Ultimately, he 
moved to the new location himself. 

But owners of fewer slaves and smaller 
plantations, as well as farmers, couldn't al- 
ways afford to buy more land and workers. 
Their settlements tended to follow nucleated or 
semi-nucleated patterns. 

Historian Linda Worthy also distinguished 
another difference between planters and farm- 
ers. Planters— those with 20 or more 
slaves— were concerned with controlling many 
slaves and that often determined where they 
placed buildings. Farmers were more likely to 
arrange structures according to whether chores 
associated with them concerned the house or 
the field. Chores, and therefore the buildings 
associated with them, were also traditionally 
identified with women or men. For example, 
household jobs usually performed by women 
included tending chickens and preparing food, 
so the chicken house and smokehouse were put 

close to the residence. Men, on the other 
hand, usually performed the field tasks of 
caring for the ox and mule, and storing cotton 
and corn. Consequently, buildings for those 
functions— the barn, cotton shed, and corn 
crib— were farther from the house and closer 
to the fields. 

As for local architecture, there were few of 
the columned mansions many associate with 
the South. The great majority lived in simple 
wood houses, including many land-rich plant- 
ers such as Calhoun. Even though many 
antebellum dwellings were gone by the time 
researchers arrived, enough remained to 
confirm the accuracy of the observations of an 
anonymous writer in 1859. 

The writer noted a "uniformity of design" 
in all country houses in Georgia and South 
Carolina, and divided them into four catego- 
ries: "...The little log cabin, with a single 
room and a clay chimney. This represents the 
lowest class. Two log pens (rooms), and two 
back shed rooms, with a passage through the 
center and piazza in front; clay chimney at 
each end of the house. This is the second in 
the ascending scale. Two story house, built of 


Figure 134: Mortise-and-tenon joints. 

Figure 135: Dove-tail notches. 


pine boards, with four rooms in the body of 
the house, and two shed rooms behind; brick 
chimney at each end, piazza in front, and 
passage through the center. This is the third 
class— men who are getting 'well-to-do in the 
world. ' 

"Large two story double house, eight 
rooms, chimney running up through the roof, 
giving a fireplace to each room; piazza or 
portico in front, and passage through the 
center. This completes the series, and here we 
find the lordly planter, with all the appoint- 
ments of comfortable and stylish living." 

The dwelling in the Russell Reservoir area 
closest to the popular conception of elegant 
antebellum homes was the William Allen 
House on the Beverly Plantation. Located in 
Elbert County, this sizable two-story structure, 
with front columns and double chimneys, was 
identified by an architectural historian as 
plantation plain style. The characteristics of 
this design, popular in the South in the early 
1800's, were frame construction, two stories, 
gable roofs, and exterior end chimneys. Two 
rooms of unequal size were located on both 
floors, and there were additional shed rooms 
in the rear and a porch across the front. 

Usually unpainted and raised on a rock 
foundation, a plantation plain style house had 
plastered interior walls or flush siding with 
chair rails. The houses incorporated much 
hand-crafted woodwork, which would soon 
largely die out as a craft in America because 
of the industrial revolution. Such a residence 
effectively separated the wealthy planter from 
outsiders through boundaries created by its 
porches, hallways, and distinctions between 
private and public rooms. Archeologist J. W. 
Joseph noted that these barriers were useful to 
protect the planter from the uncertain inten- 
tions of diverse callers and to demonstrate his 
wealth and high social standing. 

On the other end of the economic scale 
were poor Whites who often occupied log 
shelters little better, if at all, than those lived 
in by slaves. Often only one or two rooms, 
these dwellings offered none of the isolated 

Figure 136: A back view shows the Caldwell-Hutchison House. 

Figure 137: Katherine and Bandon Hutchison, sister and brother, stand with their dogs outside their historical family 
home in Abbeville, South Carolina. 


Figure 138: The breezeway or dogtrot of the Caldwell-Hutchison 
House provided a refreshing, cool spot on hot days. 

retreats that a planter might have in his home. 
As Frederick Law Olmsted observed: "The 
logs are usually hewn but little; and, of 
course, as they are laid up, there will be wide 
interstices between them— which are increased 
by subsequent shrinking. These, very com- 
monly, are not 'chinked', or filled up in any 
way; nor is the wall lined on the inside...." In 
other words, the walls and roof sometimes 
barely kept out the rain. 

Farmers, who were in between the richest 
and poorest categories, rarely included barriers 
to outsiders in their homes, either. As Joseph 
explained: "Farmers were likely to have 
interacted with other farmers, and with the 
few slaves they might own. If slaveowners, 
then they probably worked together with their 
slaves in the field and were familiar with one 
another. Farmers had no reason to build 
houses which excluded them from the outside 
world, because the outside world was not a 
threat. " 

The Caldwell-Hutchison House was a 
typical residence for such farmers, who often 
did not work from building plans, but merely 

extended their houses as needed. The house 
began as only one room of hewn logs joined 
with half dovetailed notching. As the family 
grew, two rooms were added, with a dogtrot 
or breezeway in between to cool the place in 
hot weather. Eventually, the residents added a 
second story. Another dwelling, the Alexan- 
der-Cleveland house, began as two stories with 
frame construction and mortise-and-tenon 
joints. It was later enlarged to include a rear 
single-storied kitchen. The house style is 
considered Carolina I because of the rear 
addition and a single-story front porch. 

All three examples from the area, the 
Alexander-Cleveland, Caldwell-Hutchison, and 
William Allen houses, were occupied long 
after the Civil War. In fact, a brother and 
sister, Bandon and Katherine Hutchison, 
resided in their family home until they were 
relocated to make way for the Richard B. 
Russell Dam and Lake. So, even though area 
people mostly favored simple constructions, 
they often built their homes to last, and last 
they did, in some cases for well over 100 


Figure 139: Mary Catherine and Robert Cleveland posed in front of their 18th-century house 
in Elbert County, Georgia. 

Figure 140: An upstairs room of the Alexander-Cleveland House served as a school for the 
family's and neighbor's children until 1901. 


I iuurv 141: William Thomas Bailey and his brother Henry M. Bailey of Hart County, 
( ompany ( , 1 6th Regiment, (Georgia Volunteer Infantry, stood at attention in their 
uniforms during the Civil War. 


Chapter 15: Fortunes Won and Lost 

1861 to 1865 

Although the skirmishes of the Civil War 
never took place near the upper Savannah 
River, probably no family, Black or White, 
was untouched by the conflict in some way. 
Certainly most people knew a man, or even a 
boy, injured or killed in the war, and few 
could ignore the many rumors about battles 
won and lost on both sides, not when their 
own futures could be determined by the out- 

Whites in particular must have grown 
especially apprehensive as news came of a 
fiery march through Georgia led by Union 
General William Tecumseh Sherman. They 
must have learned that he burned Atlanta, and 
that he was headed for Savannah. But once 
there, Sherman didn't set the city ablaze as 
many feared because residents surrendered 
without a fight and gave the general one of the 
finest homes as his headquarters. 

Abbeville, South Carolina, which for so 
long had served as the home of John C. Cal- 
houn and the place where he practiced law, 
was an early hotbed of the secessionist move- 
ment; and when the war that resulted from the 
movement was close to the end, Abbeville was 
also where the president of the Confederacy, 
Jefferson Davis, held the last meeting of his 
cabinet, his last council of war before surren- 
dering. Their gathering in the Burt-Stark 
Mansion May 2, 1865, prompted citizens to 
call their town "the birthplace and the death- 
bed of the Confederacy." 

Some of the reservoir area's earliest and 
most powerful families were directly affected 
by the war. Among them were the Hutchisons. 
Robert Hutchison was the son of one of the 
first pioneer families to settle on the South 
Carolina side of the Savannah River. He 
became one of the richest men in the region, 
rivaling James Edward Calhoun in his proper- 

ty holdings, and earning a place of leadership 
in the community. Hutchison was so financial- 
ly successful that he often made loans to 
others and became known by the nickname of 
"everybody's banker." 

One of his sons, Robert Barney Hutchison, 
joined the Confederate Army early in the war. 
He served with General Robert E. Lee's Army 
of Northern Virginia during its first foray into 
Northern territory in late 1862, making him 
part of a powerful Rebel force that had stirred 
some in the United States government into a 
panic. Lee's army seemed almost invincible 
then, until a Union soldier commanded by 
General John B. McClellan found the enemy's 
battle plans wrapped around several cigars. 
That stroke of luck prompted McClellan to 
become uncharacteristically bold and aggres- 
sive, and the tide of history changed. 

Hutchison fought in the decisive engage- 
ment at Antietam in Maryland, also called the 
battle of Sharpsburg. There, Union soldiers 
finally halted the Confederate advance, and 
General Lee and his forces were forced to 
retreat south into Virginia. Hutchison was so 
badly wounded in the fight that he lost a leg. 
When he returned home, he and his wife 
moved to Anderson County, South Carolina, 
for a time, but they returned in the 1870's to 
the area where his father lived near Lowndes- 
ville, South Carolina. The couple settled into 
a log house, later to be listed on the National 
Register of Historic Places. 

Another family rocked by the Civil War 
was the Harpers. Their family chronicle in the 
region began when Henry Harper settled in 
Edinburg, Georgia, in 1792, where he operat- 
ed one of the first local river ferries. In 1808, 
his son, Lyndsey, perhaps bettered his own 
fortunes through marriage. Apparently, not 
long after his wedding to Jane (Jenny) Harris, 


Figure 142: The Harpers were early settlers in (reorgia and later in South 
Carolina. This Is a front vies* of their house in Abbeville County, South Carolina. 

daughter of a prominent doctor, Lyndsey 
moved into her family home or built a house 
on the Harris property. Documents don't show 
whether Lyndsey bought or inherited the land 
where he and Jenny lived, but whichever was 
the case, people thought of their Abbeville 
County residence as fairly opulent. 

Possible evidence that the newlyweds 
settled at the bride's home came from the 
inscription on her 1853 tombstone. Located in 
the graveyard of the Lyndsey Harper Planta- 
tion, the tombstone reads, "She was born, 
lived, and died within 300 yards of her 

Historians tracing the lives of selected 
reservoir area families often consulted govern- 
ment documents and legal records in their 
search for information. Census counts, wills, 
tax records, deeds, itemizations of estates, all 
were useful. For example, the 1810 census 
showed that Lyndsey Harper's father owned 
no slaves, and that Lyndsey, just married, 
owned one. By the 1820 census, Lyndsey 
owned eight slaves and employed four other 
free Blacks. Lyndsey 's wealth remained about 
the same until between 1840 and 1850 when 
his wealth increased significantly and he came 
close to being part of the plantation class. 

Lyndsey Harper's wealth was documented 

at his death in 1850 when his estate was listed 
in public records. At that time, he owned at 
least 1,304 acres of land and 19 slaves. Three 
of the slaves were valued at only one dollar 
apiece because they were old. 

One way Lyndsey Harper had expanded his 
income was by lending money. His estate 
papers showed that many people were indebted 
to him. There were several pages listing notes 
due, some dating back to 1831, with debtors' 
names, dates and amounts of every loan, and 
comments whether prospects of repayment 
were good, bad, or doubtful. Before his death. 
Harper also made several payments himself to 
people listed as "landlord" and "landlady". He 
apparently owned property in Augusta and 
Elberton, Georgia, and was paying people to 
manage it. 

Jenny Harper died within three years of her 
husband, and the estate was divided among six 
children and grandchildren. A son, Henry, 
described as about six-feet tall with dark hair 
and a dark complexion, assumed ownership of 
the family farm. By 1856, Henry Harper's tax 
returns show that he had achieved a status his 
father never quite reached. As the owner of 
more than 20 slaves, Henry Harper had joined 
the ranks of the planter class. His assets con- 
tinued to grow until by 1860, he owned 42 


slaves housed in seven dwellings. He also 
claimed 1,400 acres of land, 400 of which 
were being farmed. Befitting his elevated 
social stature, he was elected to the state 
legislature. From all accounts, Henry Harper 
had become a rich and influential man with the 
brightest prospects. Then he went to war. 

Shortly after the firing of the first shots at 
Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor April 12, 
1861, he enlisted in the Confederate Army and 
was sworn in as a captain. Stationed in the 
Beaufort District of South Carolina until the 
summer of 1862, Harper apparently didn't see 
any action early in the war. 

This was a heady time for the Confeder- 
ates. One of their generals, Thomas "Stone- 
wall" Jackson, and his army seemed to move 
with the speed of lighting, mounting surprise 
attacks that stunned their enemies. An espe- 
cially notable achievement came in the Shen- 
andoah Valley campaign where Jackson's 
troops held two separate Union armies at bay, 
and succeeded in sending them simultaneously 
into retreat. When Jackson rejoined Lee, the 
two generals and their troops continued either 
to win battles or, at the very least, to block 
their opponents from capturing Richmond, 
Virginia, capitol of the Confederacy. For the 
time being, the Rebels appeared to have every 
reason to feel cocky. 

During this peak in the South' s fortunes, 

Henry Harper obtained a leave of absence 
from the army and in the summer of 1862 
headed home. Either on the journey or once 
he reached his destination, he suffered some 
sort of injury that kept him away from the 
army, apparently for about a year. By Septem- 
ber 1863, he had recovered enough to return 
to active duty and was promoted to major. He 
joined Lee's army and was in Virginia when 
the outlook for the Confederacy blackened. By 
1864, the days were clearly past when Confed- 
erate General James "Jeb" Stuart's cavalry 
could ride with impunity around the Union 
Army. Gone, too, was General Jackson, the 
man Lee had called his right arm and who had 
stood like a stone wall against the enemy, 
inspiring so many Confederates. Jackson died 
at the hands of his own men, victim of 
wounds suffered in an accidental shooting. In 
May 1864, casualties on both sides reached 
staggering proportions. Armies under the 
command of Union General Ulysses S. Grant 
and Confederate General Robert E. Lee 
fought, often hand-to-hand, in such places as 
Spotsylvania and the Wilderness in Virginia. 
In just a month or so, Grant lost about 60,000 
men, while Lee lost 30,000. Yet, despite his 
greater casualties, Grant had an important 
advantage over Lee. He continued to receive 
replacements for lost soldiers, while Lee and 
the entire Confederate Army were short of 

Figure 143: Fort Sumter, South Carolina, in Charleston Harbor, was the site where the first shots of the Civil War 
were fired on April 12, 1861. 



.,- . -•*%■ n 

Figure 144: (Georgia's First Regiment, Company I), gathered in Augusta, (Georgia, early in the war. 

men, short of everything. Lee's once proud 
force was now in tatters. Some men fought 

Somewhere in all this horrific bloodshed 
Henry Harper managed to stay alive. Little is 
known about exactly where he served during 
the period, however, it's certain that he was 
eventually captured by the enemy. Apprehend- 
ed by the Union Army July 28, 1864, at Mal- 
vern Hill— about halfway between Cold Har- 
bor and Petersburg, Virginia— Harper was 
taken to the Old Capitol Prison in Washington 
D.C. Later, he was transferred to the Federal 
Prison at Fort Delaware. Almost a year to the 
day after his capture, he was released, on July 
24, 1865. As the price of his freedom, he 
signed an oath of allegiance to the United 
States government. 

Harper emerged from the war with most of 
his real estate intact, although greatly deval- 
ued. Before the war, he owned 1,400 acres, 
which had diminished to 1,100 acres in 1865. 

While his land before the war was valued at 
$21,000, the figure had dropped to only 
$8,800 afterwards. The economic depression 
that had hit the South clearly impacted him. 
Still, Harper managed mostly to maintain his 
economic worth through 1870. According to 
the agricultural schedule of the Federal Census 
for 1870, he grew quantities of corn, oats, 
wheat, and cotton worth $5,100. 

Shortly after Reconstruction ended, Harper 
won election to the South Carolina House of 
Representatives, where he had served before 
the war. He held office for two years until 
1880, when for some unknown reasons his 
fortunes shifted steeply downward. In the 1880 
agricultural schedule, Harper's land value had 
skidded from $8,000 to $2,600, and his agri- 
cultural production plummeted from $5, 100 to 
$700. He had lost 600 acres. 

Henry Harper died in 1886, followed five 
years later by his wife. Researchers found no 
will for either of them, but it appears that they 


left what remained of the plantation to their 
four surviving children. 

The Harpers became well known for the 
ferry they owned on the Savannah River, just 
as their grandfather had owned a ferry in the 
late 1700's. But the second ferry, which began 
service around 1836, operated in a different 
location than the grandfather's. This second 
Harper's ferry continued operation until 1928 
when automobile bridges eliminated its need. 

Traveling back and forth across the river by 
ferry became commonplace for residents on 
both sides. James Edward Calhoun eventually 
owned his own ferry so he could more easily 
tend to his interests on each bank of the river. 
Most others, however, depended on entrepre- 
neurs like the Harpers, who charged small fees 
for the service. Owners named their ferries 
after themselves, and in the study area, there 
were the Mosley, Bowman, Dooley, and 
Tucker Ferries. The latter boat belonged to 
Dan Tucker, a colorful Elbert County farmer 
originally from Virginia. 

Tucker, born February 14, 1740, was also 
a minister, and perhaps in that capacity be- 
friended slaves, who created a song about him 
that persists to this day. Meaning behind the 
curious lyrics of "Old Dan Tucker" however, 
has been lost. Nonetheless, the folk song 
remains a campfire favorite: 

"Old Dan Tucker was a grand old man 
He washed his face in a frying pan 
He combed his hair with a wagon wheel 
He died with a toothache in his heel." 
The song includes many more verses, 
although exactly how many remains unclear 
because new ones continue to be added. 

In a sense, the Civil War handed a cruder 
fate to the McCalla family than to their neigh- 
bors, the Harpers. By 1820, John McCalla, 
who was called "Major", possibly because of 
military service in the War of 1812, was 
already a plantation owner. He had 26 slaves. 
By 1833, he owned 768 acres between the 
Savannah and Rocky Rivers. 

A property inventory at McCalla 's death in 

Figure 145: J. D. and Grace Rucker and a group of friends crossed the Savannah River by ferry from Elbert County, 
Georgia. Ferries were vital to early life near the river. 


j land, revealed a value of 

mt $9,000 of his estate's 

hi slaves. Some of McCalla's slaves 

lued as high as $900 each, and all of 

them were listed by their first names only: 

"Biddy, Patty, Rachel, Herrod, Tom, Winny, 

Fanny, Jim Strong, Zack, Mary, Betty, Dely, 

Milly, Carolina, Henry, Charles, Alek, and 

Jim H." 

Apparently well educated, McCalla left 
behind a library appraised at $150, a book- 
case, and a copy of George Washington's 
farewell address valued at $20, along with 
other items. Taxes filed on behalf of his estate 
indicated payment of $6.50 to neighbor James 

Hanging On 

William Franklin Clinkscales represents the 
middle-income farmers, a category that remained 
very important to the study area's economy until 
modern times. 

The Clinkscales settled on the South Carolina 
side of the Savannah River in the early 1850's, 
buying 450 acres. At the time, they owned eight 
lUtvat who lived in two houses. After his first 
wife died, William Franklin remarried in 1844 
to Lucinda Burton, with whom he spent 62 
years. They raised the two children from his 
first marriage, as well as a number of their 
own— with at least six of their offspring living 
past childhood. 

By the start of the Civil War, the Clink- 
scales' land was apparently worth $6,300. 
Despite the hardships of the war, William 
Franklin Clinkscales was able to survive with his 
assets largely intact. By 1870. the Clinkscales' 
property value had been cut by half, but the 
family was able to withstand the economic 
depression by diversifying farm production. 
They raised horses, mules, milk cows, other 
cattle, oxen, sheep, pigs, bees, and chickens. 
They also grew corn, oats, wheat, cotton, Irish 
potatoes, sweet potatoes, apples, and peaches. 
Just about all their livestock and produce were 
for their own use, although they sold cotton, 
possibly butter and eggs, and w(hk1 they cut on 
their land. 

Edward Calhoun for the "spring season of a 
horse." Calhoun, always on the lookout for a 
way to make money, must have offered his 
stallion as a stud. 

Like Calhoun, John McCalla managed 
various business pursuits— blacksmithing, 
carpentry, cloth manufacturing, and possibly 
timbering. With his death, several small be- 
quests went to missionary societies, while the 
bulk of his wealth was divided evenly between 
two sons. George, the youngest, bought his 
brother's share in the family plantation so that 
by 1850 he owned it all. 

George McCalla's wealth grew phenomen- 
ally in the decade before the Civil War. He 
owned 1,760 acres in 1856, which had almost 
doubled by 1860 to 3,000 acres. The number 
of slaves he owned also grew, from 74 in 
1856 to 85 in 1860. How he improved his 
fortune so much is unclear. Additional inheri- 
tances perhaps brought in part of the money, 
and he may have been especially frugal with 
profits from agriculture, which were good for 
the time. He may have also driven his slaves 
especially hard or managed them very effi- 
ciently. Archeologist J.W. Joseph determined 
that McCalla apparently produced 1.85 bales 
of cotton per slave in 1850, compared to one 
bale per slave for Henry Harper. James E. 
Calhoun produced even less, only about a 
third of a bale per slave. 

Archeologist Marlessa Gray noted a possi- 
ble dark side to McCalla's rapid accumulation 
of wealth— he apparently didn't pay his fair 
share of property taxes. In 1856, he paid only 
$56 tax on 1,760 acres, while Henry Harper 
paid $75 on less land, just 726 acres. A near- 
by farmer, William F. Clinkscales, who 
owned only 450 acres, also forked over more 
taxes than McCalla— $64. 

McCalla's prosperity plummeted after the 
war, possibly because he went into debt to 
finance his expansion in the years immediately 
prior to the conflict. Perhaps he felt impelled 
to borrow money because so much of his 
wealth was tied up in slaves, an investment 
entirely lost following the South 's defeat when 


Map 25: The historic farms and plantations studied in the Russell Project Area are shown, along with the prehistoric 
sites examined. 


Figure 146: The Clinkscales house in Abbeville County, South Carolina, was at the 
renter of happy memories for many family members. 

slaves were freed. Also, plunging land values 
throughout the region after the war further 
diminished his principal assets. 

According to his 1865 tax return, McCal- 
la's property had decreased in value from 
$31,000 to $15,000. The figure continued to 
drop until, by the time of his death in 1886, 
his land's value had sunk to $10,790 and his 
personal property was appraised at just $76. 
McCalla was also deeply in debt. 

Despite these losses, he somehow managed 
to hold onto his land until his death. His 
estate, including small amounts of money and 
personal items, was divided among seven 
children, grandchildren born to a daughter 
then dead, and his wife Mary Jane, who had 
married him when she was 16 and he was 28. 

Of all the people researched in the Russell 
studies, James Edward Calhoun's economic 
profile was one of the more difficult to track 
because of his many ventures, and because he 
owned land in two states and several counties. 
That said, it appears that Calhoun continued to 
feel financially pinched into the 1830's, de- 
spite his vast holdings, because, in part, he 
didn't have enough slaves to handle all the 
jobs he wanted accomplished. Letters suggest 
that he was constantly juggling slaves between 
his agricultural and industrial concerns. At one 

point in 1833, he wrote that he had delayed 
planting corn because of construction work at 
a mill. In the same year, he wrote that his 
workers didn't finish picking cotton until 
December 30 because of other jobs. 

One way Calhoun got around his labor 
shortage was to rent out some of his vast 
acreage. Sometimes he collected money in 
return; other times, he took pay in crops. For 
instance, in 1833 he rented land to a former 
overseer for which he was to receive shares of 
the man's crops— one fourth of the corn, one 
third of the cotton, and half the oats. 

Between 1830 and 1840, Calhoun either 
had enough credit or made enough profit to 
boost his slave holdings dramatically. In ten 
years, he went from owning 55 slaves to 155. 
By 1860, the number had jumped to 194. 

Calhoun also spent the pre-war years pursu- 
ing his goal of an industrial complex on his 
plantation that could convert his various crops 
into finished goods, but the extent of his 
success is hard to determine. For example, he 
contemplated building a manufacturing facility 
for cottonseed oil, but whether he followed 
through on the idea remains unknown. He 
definitely bought a loom from a company in 
New York to make cotton bagging and crude 
clothing for his slaves, but accounts suggest 


that he never completed the project. Cer- 
tainly by 1850, Calhoun did own an unde- 
fined number of mills, which were valued 
at $1,000 and produced cornmeal, wheat 
flour, and boards. 

The 1860 census lists a company by 
the name of Rogers & Calhoun in the 
Abbeville area which researchers think 
Calhoun may have partly owned. The 
venture definitely would have matched his 
ambitions for a diversified industrial cen- 
ter. Rogers & Calhoun consisted of grist 
mills producing meal and flour worth 
$2,700; a sawmill manufacturing $1,500 
worth of lumber; a tannery producing 
some $3,500 worth of leather; and a 
blacksmith shop, which hammered out 
$700 worth of tools. 

Even if Calhoun didn't develop such an 
industrial center, he apparently pocketed 
plenty of cash. Whether through a canny 

A Man Of Wealth 

Not all Southern planters fared poorly in the aftermath 
of the Civil War. Some actually made it through the pitfalls 
of Reconstruction quite well. 

For example, Banister Allen entered the war era with 58 
slaves and 1,725 acres of land. After the war, his property 
probably deflated in value like everyone else's, but by 
1870, he had overcome the loss, and produced crops worth 
$47,211, much higher profits than any of his neighbors 

When he died in 1876, Allen left at least $5,300 in 
cash, as well as a considerable amount of land, and person- 
al property worth $1,607. According to Lesley Drucker, 
who investigated his life, Allen bequeathed most of his land 
to his wife, Ann Elizabeth. 

Although the Aliens didn't live in an elaborate mansion, 
they were still considered among the most well-to-do people 
in their community. Banister Allen's obituary described the 
planter as "one of the county's oldest citizens" and a person 
"regarded as one of the few rich men in Abbeville County. " 

Figure 147: Millwood Plantation houses had unusual eaves overlapping in front and back. 


forecast of hard economic times or just plain 
good luck, he pulled off a feat that spared him 
the kinds of losses suffered by other planters. 
He apparently sold a large amount of land 
right before the Civil War began. In 1850, he 
owned 10, 100 acres, according to U.S. Census 
records concerning Abbeville County, but by 
1860 he had reduced his holdings to 2,850 

In fact, Calhoun may have actually pros- 
pered during the war. Clearly, the war years 
were, for the most part, comfortable for him. 
In one letter, he related to a relative that he 
was "free of debt." In another, he wrote that 
he expected "an extraordinary crop" and that 
he was "never before so well prepared." 

Calhoun probably used some of his new-found 
capital to farm more of his land. In 1850, he 
had 450 improved acres. By 1860, his im- 
proved land had increased to 1,450 acres. 

He continued his active letter correspon- 
dence throughout the war, and among the 
letters he received were several requests for 
charity. In February, 1863, a distant cousin 
whose husband and sons were Confederate 
soldiers, wrote to beg him for help in buying 
food and paying off her debts. Another letter 
revealed that Calhoun sent food to a neighbor 
needing help feeding his slaves, and seeds for 
planting crops the following spring. 

In August, 1863, Calhoun received another 
plea from an old school friend who had aban- 

Figure 148: Medicine bottles found at Millwood Plantation included "Dr. King's New Discovery for Consumption" and 
a "liver regulator". 


Figure 149: James Edward Calhoun had this view of the Savannah River from his Millwood Plantation. 

doned his own coastal plantation as the Union 
army approached. The friend requested land 
for himself and his slaves. Calhoun offered 
use of some of his undeveloped property, but 
the friend, who was 65, wrote back that he 
had decided he wasn't up to such a task. 

Despite these entreaties for help from the 
less fortunate, little personal sacrifice appar- 
ently was asked of Calhoun during the war. 
However, in 1864, he did send six of his 
slaves to Charleston to serve the Confederate 
Engineering Department, and he did pay 
higher taxes because of the war. In many 
ways, Millwood was insulated from the prob- 
lems beginning to close in on many others 
because it was so self-sufficient. As the war 
progressed, however, growing numbers of 
items did become increasingly scarce. An 
agent for Calhoun notified him as early as Oc- 

tober, 1863 that "coffee and sugar are not to 
be had." And a neighbor wrote to Calhoun 
about going all the way to Augusta to buy 
supplies. He reported that coffee was selling 
for $1 1 per pound and that prices for other ba- 
sics—salt, sugar, and quinine— were so high 
he could "scarcely believe it." 

If documents accurately reflect Calhoun's 
affairs, he may have been able to pull off 
another financial coup at the war's end. He 
perhaps bought land again when prices had 
plummeted after peace was declared. Tax 
records for 1867 show that Calhoun owned 
10,194 acres, up from 2,850 in 1860. Possibly 
he spent his cash reserves to buy back proper- 
ty he once owned. This wealth of real estate 
helped Calhoun withstand the trials ahead 
when a different type of conflict erupted in the 

Figure 150: Tenant farming caused the worst erosion in the region's history. There was little incentive for conservation 
for farmers who didn't own the land they worked. 


Chapter 16: Gone, But Not Forgotten 

1865 to 1876 

Reconstruction after the Civil War was a 
bitter period throughout the South. This era of 
forced change contributed to racial unrest that 
persisted long after the official interval of 
rehabilitation ordered by the Federal Govern- 
ment ended. A sense of devastating loss per- 
vaded the entire region, even in areas where 
no battles were fought. Nearly an entire gener- 
ation of young men had been killed or perma- 
nently disabled, and many others found them- 
selves homeless because Union soldiers had 
often burned everything in their paths that 
might help the Rebels prolong the conflict. 

Roads that could have carried people some- 
where else to start over were rutted and virtu- 
ally impassable; and railroads were frequently 
in similar disrepair. Most Southerners, howev- 
er, had little or no money to finance such a 
journey anyway. Of those who did manage to 
hold onto cash and bonds during the hard war 
years, most found their remaining wealth sunk 
into all but worthless Confederate currency. 
Many, once rich, were now poor. Fields lay 
fallow without the farmers to tend them. 
Horses to pull the plows were also gone, 
killed in battles or stolen. With crops unplant- 
ed, and livestock all but depleted, fresh food 
became scarce, and what commodities were 
available often came at exorbitant prices. If 
there were crops to sell, wagons to carry them 
to market were also in short supply. 

A bitter irony was that slaves freed by the 
war in some ways remained no better off than 
before. Policies designed to help them went 
awry, derailed by insufficient money and 
personnel to enforce the mandates, and sabo- 
taged by Southern Whites. One method Feder- 
al officials devised to protect Blacks from 
possible abuse was to require White employers 
to sign a contract with every laborer stating 
exact wages. Most Whites considered the con- 

tracts repulsive, not only because they hated 
any commands from the victors of the war, 
but also because they resisted any measure 
requiring them to treat as equals people they 
had only recently considered their property. 

But the contracts were mandatory, so many 
Whites circumvented the government's intent 
by writing contracts that replicated conditions 
almost identical to those of slavery. These 
documents sometimes bound workers for an 
entire year to an employer and stipulated that 
in return laborers would receive food, cloth- 
ing, and housing, just as they did in slave 
times, but now they would also earn a small 

The History Group, an Atlanta-based re- 
search organization, found an example of the 
sort of contracts used: "This agreement made 

and entered into the day of August, 1865 

...Joseph R. Deadwyler agrees to furnish [his 
former servants] clothing and food and hu- 
mane treatment as heretofore, and in addition 
to their own patches I will give to each ten 
bushels of corn and five gallons syrup and 
meat, and they agree to labor as heretofore on 
my farms and as I may direct until the 25th 
day of December next, and to behave them- 
selves. " 

Many Blacks were also displeased by the 
contracts because they wanted nothing that 
would legally bind them back to former own- 
ers. On the other hand, if the slaveholders had 
been relatively just, Blacks were more inclined 
to continue working at the same plantation as 
they did before the war's end. Some, though, 
wanted nothing at all to do with their former 
masters or any other Southern Whites. Groups 
of former slaves congregated in towns and 
near Federal army bases waiting to receive the 
promised "40 acres and a mule" or some other 
allotment of land from the Federal Govern- 


Figure 151' I he Civil War If Ft thousands of dead in the North and South and a long lasting-bitterness on both sides. 

merit. Most, however, waited in vain. Some 
Blacks left the South altogether. Others, un- 
trained for other employment, eventually 
returned to field work. But many Black males 
were opposed to their women and children 
working in the fields anymore. They wanted 
their families to have the same leisure that 
many White women and children enjoyed. All 
o\ these factors combined to cause a severe 
labor shortage. Captain C. R. Becker, sent by 
the Federal Government to guide Reconstruc- 
tion efforts on the South Carolina side of the 
Savannah River, reported: "...there are none 
who need want employment, if they only 
choose to seek it, for in fact I have applica- 
tions nearly every day from planters who are 
in want of hands and unable to obtain them." 
In another report, the captain stated some 
ex-slaveholders were still lashing their Black 
laborers with whips, and that many Blacks 
Wtn stealing food. 

The transition to a free labor market was 

the responsibility of the Bureau of Refugees, 
Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, which 
became known as the Freedmen 's Bureau. An 
arm of the United States Congress, the Freed- 
men 's Bureau was also responsible for doling 
out assistance to Whites, destitute because of 
the war, and to Blacks, most of whom had 
never had any money of their own. No other 
plans existed for infusing money into the 
region's crippled economy, no Marshall Plan 
to rebuild cities like Atlanta destroyed in the 
war. Federal coffers were severely depleted 
from the enormous costs of the war, and some 
Washington officials were disinclined to ap- 
propriate resources to help their recent ene- 

People in the Russell area, although spared 
battles on their land, weren't immune to the 
many costs of the war or to the fear of one 
another that existed between Blacks and 
Whites. Much of the area's wealth before the 
war consisted of slaves. Now, that wealth had 


vanished; many Whites faced financial ruin. 
Some, however, used the economic depression 
as an opportunity to acquire cheap land, as 
James Edward Calhoun apparently did. 

Recent studies in Louisiana and Alabama 
reveal that the planter class as a whole was 
actually able to add to their land holdings 
between 1860 and 1870, although few people 
managed a 72 percent increase in property as 
Calhoun apparently accomplished. But even he 
struggled some during Reconstruction, unsuc- 
cessfully seeking loans several times between 
1865 and 1867. In a letter in 1865, an agent 
Calhoun had asked to help him get a loan in 
Philadelphia wrote: "Affairs are still so unset- 
tled in the South, that is as to getting the 
Freedmen to their labor, that I have not even 
attempted to ask for a loan." 

Calhoun probably eventually got a loan, but 
nonetheless he considered himself financially 
disadvantaged. He had lost his slaves, valued 
at about $130,000, according to researchers 

under the direction of Charles Orser. Even as 
late as 1869, Calhoun wrote to a friend: "My 
house, which you knew, is rotting over my 
head, past repair. My losses have been so 
immense that I cannot afford to build. I can do 
no more than try to gather enough to enable 
me to modify one of my outbuildings, that I 
may have some convenience and more securi- 

While his wartime prosperity may have 
dissipated, Calhoun was undoubtedly exagger- 
ating the hardships he experienced. Any real 
financial difficulties he might have experienced 
were short-lived and he was soon earning 
enough profits to launch major construction 
projects. Certainly, in the years following 
Reconstruction, he was comfortably rich, and 
as J. W. Joseph observed: "His frequent 
complaints (during Reconstruction) of impov- 
erishment and roofs rotting over his head must 
be taken in light of Calhoun's character, which 
emphasized the impediments to his industrial 

Figure 152: If slaveholders had been relatively just, Blacks sometimes remained as tenants after the war. This 
family was photographed at Millwood Plantation. 


tihoun was concerned with 

.rests, many others were 

Mth merely staying alive during 


Violence had by no means ended with the 

war, and most places had few, if any, Federal 

(internment representatives to police them. 

I an lessness was rampant and vigilantes often 

became the only enforcers. A clear example of 

the inadequacy of government at the time were 

the few representatives assigned to the Freed- 

men's Bureau. For all of Georgia, Florida, 

and South Carolina, a territory with 400,000 

former slaves, Brevet Major General Rufus B. 

Saxon commanded a staff of only 24 assistants 

M.i|i 26: ( alhoun's Millwood Plantation was on bo(h sides 
of the Savannah Kiv*-r in South Carolina and (Jeornia. 

and 20 doctors. 

Saxon concentrated his thinly stretched 
effort on the coastal areas where the majority 
of the former slaves lived. He also opened a 
district office in Anderson, South Carolina, 
although the office was apparently under- 
staffed. Few Federal troops patrolled any- 
where in the surrounding area. 

The Anderson office provided some of the 
sparse written evidence found by Russell 
researchers about life during Reconstruction. 
Documents indicated that a tense atmosphere 
persisted, often erupting into violence towards 
Blacks. According to one report, the former 
slaves, "in this section o\ the state (are) not 

freedmen and women... they are nominally 
such, but their condition indeed is worse than 
bondage itself and ever will be unless this 
subdistrict is flooded with... cavalry.... The 
U.S. soldiers and the freedmen are alike 
threatened and despised, and a very little 
respected. The military authorities are seldom 
obeyed except when necessity compels— and 
the garrison is limited, hence a majority of the 
guilty go unpunished." 

Captain C. R. Becker, in charge of the 
Freedmen' s Bureau in Anderson, detailed one 
example of the terrors taking place in a report 
he filed in May, 1866: "On Saturday, May 12, 
about ten o'clock a freedman by name of 
Elbert MacAdams was taken from his house 
by an unknown man and shot three times and 
then had his throat cut and was dragged into 
the woods about a hundred yards from his 
house, where he was found dead on Sunday 
morning. The freedman had come to see his 
wife on Basil Callahan's plantation, about 16 
miles from here.... Freed men report to the 
office every day that they are being driven off, 
and my time is entirely taken up looking into 
the reason and seeing that they get their 

Early in Reconstruction, White-controlled 
legislatures throughout the South strove to 
limit or to end altogether many of the free- 
doms Blacks had won. They did this by pass- 
ing laws called "Black Codes," statutes that 
varied from state to state, but expressed simi- 
lar intent. Some of the laws limited Black 
voting rights and the types of jobs they could 
take to only the lowest-paying, such as farm 
laborer. Others prevented Blacks from serving 
on juries and owning guns, and from testifying 
in court against Whites. The codes also made 
public school segregation the law, and re- 
quired segregation in other arenas as well. For 
example. Blacks were prohibited from using 
the same public facilities as Whites. And to 
countermand the lack of laborers, legislators 
enacted strict vagrancy laws so that anyone not 
\\ (irking could be arrested and hired out to 
White employers to pay off vagrancy fines. 


Map 27: The boundaries of Calhoun's plantation after the Civil War were recorded in a map that was perhaps drawn 
to use in one of several efforts over time to sell part of his holdings. 

The Federal Government responded by 
enforcing its own law guaranteeing the right to 
vote to all Black men, while excluding many 
former Confederate supporters from the polls. 
When, as a result, Blacks, unaccustomed to 
public office, and their White allies took over 
state legislatures, other Whites vociferously 
complained that corruption became rampant, 
an accurate assessment in some cases. The 
South' s defeat did attract vulture-like, unscru- 
pulous men, sometimes from outside the 
region, who were looking for spoils among the 
ruins. Corruption in local government, howev- 
er, was by no means restricted to the South in 
post war years, but was rampant throughout 
the country. Within a few years, even the 
presidency of Ulysses S. Grant was engulfed 
in scandal. 

State budget deficits in the South ballooned 
and taxes rose as Blacks sought equal public 
education, public-works programs, and relief 

for the poor, changes that infuriated many 
Whites who sought to end any further erosion 
in the way of life they formerly knew. 

Efforts to keep Blacks from gaining politi- 
cal strength were especially virulent, involving 
murder and midnight raids by armed men. On 
June 30, 1868, a Freedman Bureau report 
issued from the Anderson office listed 13 
separate incidents where former slaves were 
attacked by Whites, the majority of them 
beatings of Black women. In August and 
September of the same year, five Black men 
were beaten and one was shot in retaliation for 
joining the Republican Party, which was hated 
by many Southern Whites because of its asso- 
ciation with former President Abraham Lin- 
coln and with Northerners who had fought to 
abolish slavery. Near election time in No- 
vember, the Ku Klux Klan went on a ram- 
page. Field agent William DeKnight reported 
nine cases of KKK brutality. 


ml discussed an episode 

Black community that had 

i led to avoid election-directed 

"Innumerable persons have been 
il m the vuxxJs since sometime before 
the election to save being murdered in their 
beds, their houses having in the meantime 
been frequently visited at night for that pur- 
pose." In still another instance, a Black man 
attempting to vote at Calhoun Mill was shot, 
but he apparently survived. 

The agricultural life of the region— the only 
lite that most Blacks and Whites had ever 
known— did help foster some cooperation 
based on mutual need. Planters continued to 
need help farming their land, and Blacks 
needed somewhere to live and money for 
food. Just after the war, many planters hired 
their former slaves for low wages. Living in 
the same houses they had occupied as slaves, 
the workers wore clothes and ate food dis- 

pensed by the planters, and labored in gangs 
under the vigilance of bosses similar to those 
of the antebellum years. The situation so 
resembled slavery that when they could. 
Blacks complained and sought a different 

Calhoun, during at least part of Reconstruc- 
tion, hired laborers in a squad system, en- 
abling him to maintain some of the same 
control he had as a slaveholder. Under this 
system, he signed contracts in 1867 with seven 
Blacks who were to act as bosses. These seven 
men were expected to hire their own crews 
and to enforce discipline, including preventing 
workers from leaving the plantation or having 
visitors without Calhoun's permission. They 
were further ordered "to watch & defend the 
Premises night & day." 

The seven bosses, three of whom were 
named Calhoun, indicating they were his 
former slaves, paid the planter half of every- 

Kigure 153: Smoke rises from the rhimnes of a Millwood PlaatatiM house in an IS75 photograph. The unusual eaves 
Characteristic of the CStatC WCK on the harns, as well as the houses. 


thing their crews grew, and paid the workers 
from the other half. Besides growing crops, 
these crews were responsible for repairing 
plantation fences, roads, and buildings. 

Calhoun loaned work animals to the crew 
leaders, who were required to pay back the 
full worth of an animal if it were stolen or 
neglected. The leaders also had to buy supplies 
from Calhoun, who in turn loaned them hogs 
and chickens on condition that he "shall re- 
ceive one-third part of all the fresh eggs, and 
of the increase in poultry, every month a 
roasting pig, and beginning at the first of 
November and closing at the 31st of Decem- 
ber, a sounded, well-fatted Hog, weighing at 
least 150 pounds." Additionally, if any laborer 

systems, the landlord supplied a patch of land 
and a house to the worker in return for rent, 
which was often paid as part of the harvest 
because cash was in such short supply. 

Tenant houses under the two arrangements 
tended to be spread throughout the plantation 
in a pattern called "fragmented" by geographer 
Merle Prunty . This dispersed housing provided 
workers with some measure of freedom be- 
cause they escaped constant surveillance from 
a planter or boss by living some distance 
away. At Millwood, for instance, tenants lived 
in houses that tended to be about one-third 
mile from their neighbors. These houses 
resembled those used earlier by slaves, al- 
though they were slightly larger. The houses 

Figure 154: Old English buttons were found in the excavations at Millwood Plantation. 

accepted an outside job elsewhere, Calhoun 
received one-third of his pay. 

Calhoun, like most landowners, probably 
experimented with various labor systems as he 
adjusted to the loss of slaves. According to 
one planter in 1865: "On twenty plantations 
around me there are ten different styles of 

By 1870, most planters had switched to 
sharecropping or renting land. At first, Blacks 
probably considered these alternatives im- 
provements over squad systems because they 
gained some autonomy. Under sharecropping, 
the landlord supplied basic tools and livestock. 
Renter systems required tenants to provide 
their own animals and equipment. Under both 

also tended to be situated on a slope, generally 
facing south to capture the winter sun's 

In contrast to what happened on plantations, 
small farmers often paid wages to their help. 
Their workers continued to live near the main 
farm house, duplicating a pattern from slav- 
ery. As for the planters, gradually they came 
to prefer tenancy because they were no longer 
required to spend as much time managing 
workers, yet still had a mostly stable work- 
force. Over time, many used both White and 
Black tenants. 

Tenancy helped the Southern economy 
gradually rebound and cotton to regain its 
former prominence. Production actually 


boomed again because most tenants grew 
cotton as their main crop. With the economy 
expanding, heightened opportunities drew 
more people to the Piedmont. Between 1850 
and 1890, the population in the reservoir area 
moderately increased, with the percentage of 
Black and White residents staying about the 
same. Population growth was much more 
dramatic in Anderson County, where the 
number of people doubled as the county blos- 
somed into a textile manufacturing center. 

The economic mainstay for the rest of the 
area continued to be farming, predominantly 
by renters and sharecroppers, leading to unfor- 
tunate results for the land. While some plant- 
ers maintained direct involvement in farming 
their property, others, like Calhoun, apparent- 
ly lost interest altogether, and relied heavily 
on overseers to ensure they got their fair 
shares of the crops. Tenants felt no incentive 
to protect land they didn't own when it was in 

their best interest to squeeze as big a harvest 
as possible from the soil. Any crop rotation to 
restore the soil or other land conservation 
practiced before Reconstruction was commonly 
abandoned, and the broad neglect caused the 
worst erosion in the long history of the area. 
The cost in lost soil was staggering. Torrents 
of mud rushed into the Savannah River, which 
became more susceptible to floods, in turn 
causing more erosion. The economic damage 
from the destruction wouldn't be felt for 
awhile, but the erosion helped set the stage for 
the cotton market to tumble. 

Tenant farming continued to tie many 
Blacks to a landowner through debt they 
incurred. Besides agreeing to pay rent with 
part of their harvests, tenants commonly 
borrowed from the landlord to pay for live- 
stock, feed, seed, as well as some of the food 
they ate. But, when they harvested their crops, 
profits, which were rarely substantial, were 

I igure 155: Cotton boomed once more after the ( i > »l War \N agons loaded with bales gathered in the square around 
the town bell in Hberton, Ceorgia. This was a common sight throughout the South. 


Figure 156: Researchers examined a tenant house on the Caldwell-Hutchison Farm in 
Abbeville, South Carolina. Tenant farming was common in the region after slavery ended. 

often insufficient to pay the debts. Tenants 
were obligated to farm another season in 
hopes that the next harvest would be better, 
but for many, the cycle became a perpetual 
treadmill they couldn't escape. 

The situation was perpetuated in some 
instances by landlords who capitalized on 
Blacks' illiteracy and lack of education by 
manipulating debt figures against them. Still, 
the Russell studies of several White families 
revealed that most of them had fairly good 
relations with their Black tenants, although 
that wasn't always the case. At least two 
researchers located several sources who re- 
membered a form of "debt peonage" adminis- 
tered by one of the landlord families. 

The "debt peonage" worked like this: The 
landlord family members assembled much of 
their workforce by bailing poor people out of 
jail in exchange for their labor. As further 
payment, they also demanded that the prison- 
ers' families work for them, too. The chances 
of the workers repaying the bail steadily 
diminished because they were also required to 
repay for supplies and food the landowners 
provided. Instead of clearing their debts, the 

workers became hopelessly entrenched in the 
landowners' service. 

The cotton boom and the decline of planta- 
tions as the principal places to obtain supplies 
and receive other services led to the growth of 
small communities. Normally, these communi- 
ties were located where major roads intersect- 
ed. The town of Heardmont in Elbert County 
was such a community. Heardmont, mentioned 
in an earlier chapter, took the same name as a 
neighboring plantation, which belonged to 
Georgia Governor Stephen Heard. 

In the late 1880's, the town of Heardmont 
included several White-owned stores, but the 
community's principal landmark was the 
Bethel Grove Baptist Church, a Black church. 
The town was also known as the base for a 
small group of Black landowners. While 
tenancy was generally associated with poverty, 
a few tenants managed to break out of the 
system through a combination of hard work, 
knowledge, and a certain amount of luck. Not 
infrequently, however, when Black tenants 
managed to accumulate enough money to buy 
land, they were forced to overcome stiff White 
resistance to their owning property. 


Figure 157: The small community of Heardmont, which grew up in Elbert County 
near Georgia Governor Stephen Heard's plantation, had its own canning factory. 

of their disapproval, but Dye 
ignored them. In retaliation 
for his behavior, the White 
community all but ostracized 

Lucinda bore Dye eight 
children. A ninth child, also 
born by Lucinda, was report- 
edly fathered by another man, 
but was raised with Dye's 
children and inherited equally 
from his estate. 

When he died, sometime 
after 1865, Dye bequeathed 
all his land, including 3,000 
acres near Heardmont, to 
Lucinda and the children. 
But, because of various caus- 
es, his offspring lost most of 
their property over the years. Some of the 
land may have been stolen through illegal 
actions on the part of Whites. Part of Dye's 
land, though, was eventually bought by other 

The first Black landowners in Heardmont 
were actually part White, fathered by George 
Washington Dye, a White planter. Sometime 
before the Civil War, according to oral tradi- 
tion, Dye's marriage proposal to the daughter 
of a prominent White 
family was rejected be- 
cause he didn't have 
enough money. Dye, 
then postmaster in Elbert 
County, vowed he would 
someday be richer than 
the family that had re- 
jected him. He deter- 
minedly set out to make 
money, and, eventually, 
fulfilled his vow. He 
acquired great wealth, 
apparently through 
shrewd business dealings 
and gambling. 

Dye also lived openly 
and defiantly in an un- 
married relationship with 
his slave, Lucinda. Many 
local Whites considered 

the arrangement scandal- Figure 158 . The ^^m row f |o gs had rotted away on a tenant barn at the Caldwell- 
OUS, and made no secret Hutchison Farm. 


Figure 159: Calhoun probably experimented with labor systems after the war. Eventually, he used tenant farmers. This 
former Millwood tenant house was still occupied during the Russell studies. 

In Georgia before the Civil War, free 
Blacks reportedly owned about 3,000 farms. 
By 1903, when Blacks were about half of 
Georgia's population, they owned 18,715 
farms, about four percent of all farms in the 
state. By then, Reconstruction had passed from 
the scene, forced to an end by political pres- 

The election of 1876 was, in a situation 
reflective of the times, a divisive battle be- 
tween the two major parties. Neither Demo- 
cratic nor Republican presidential candidate 
captured enough electoral votes to win the 
White House; each side claimed 20 disputed 
votes, and refused to concede defeat. The 
stalemate dragged on for months at the peril of 

the stability of the presidency and the entire 
government. Finally, party leaders compro- 
mised. Rutherford B. Hayes, the Republican, 
could be inaugurated as president, but in 
exchange he would withdraw the despised 
Federal troops from the South. Even before 
this compromise was finally reached, however, 
many in the North were losing interest in 
controlling Southern politics. 

By the late 1870's, the South Carolina and 
Georgia Republican governments, which 
included many Blacks, had both been turned 
out of office, and replaced by predominately 
White, conservative governments. Reconstruc- 
tion was over, but the actual rebuilding of the 
South was just beginning. 


F%nrc 160: IVarlr Mill whs hii imnortant f ptojCI in HImtI ( <>unt>. (.<i>rnw, before dfeMtCT struck. Spindlo. with 
cotton \arn, one of soc-ral products made, nre >isihle behind the millworkers. 



Chapter 17: Risky Ventures, Rising Waters 

1876 to 1908 

Investors who before the Civil War put 
their capital in slaves, now turned to other 
ways to make money, many of them with an 
eye to industry. James Edward Calhoun found 
himself in the company of other planters who 
were following the same path he had started 
long before, developing alternative methods 
besides farming to produce income. Planters 
began to keep offices in town so they could 
better engage in these new pursuits, their 
energy fired by a national surge in economic 
development in the late 1800's. Enormous 
fortunes were being made in the North as the 
Industrial Revolution took hold. Why should- 
n't some of that same prosperity fill pockets in 
the South? 

Enthusiasm may have overshadowed cau- 
tion for some, who invested so heavily in new 
businesses that when those enterprises did not 
fare as handsomely as expected, they faced 
heavy losses, and even ruin. They underesti- 
mated how far the South had to go to trans- 
form from a predominantly agrarian society, 
and the error proved catastrophic. 

Before the Civil War, industry in the reser- 
voir area was largely confined to crop-process- 
ing mills, some of which opened before 1800. 
Picturesque and uncomplicated, these early 
mills were powered by huge wheels turned by 
the flow of a creek or river. The wheels, 
normally between ten and 16 feet in diameter, 
functioned in various ways. One type was 
called the overshot wheel. Water ran down a 
slanted wooden chute that ended at the top of 
the wheel. The water then spilled into buckets 
or against boards, called paddles, attached to 
the wheel. The water's weight and impact 
forced the wheel to turn, generating power. 

The same dynamics were at work with the 
breast wheel, only this time the chute dropped 
water at the middle of the wheel. In the under- 

shot wheel, the water collided with paddles 
near the wheel bottom. The construction 
principal behind these devices was ancient, 
dating back at least 2,000 years when the 
Chinese used paddle wheels to dump water 
from streams into irrigation ditches. 

Before 1820, mills in the study boundaries 
didn't generate high profits; they were small 
businesses. The mills usually served farmers 
who brought their corn and grains to be 
ground, and customarily paid the miller with 
a percentage of the resulting meal. White Mill 
was apparently this kind of operation. Built 
sometime before 1820, the mill was probably 
designed to help attract settlers to the area. 
John McGowan was an early owner of the 
land where the mill stood, and perhaps was 
the builder. McGowan envisioned a town 
nearby, a place he called Alexandria, appar- 
ently to honor William Alexander, from whom 
he bought the land. A community did form 
there and, sometime after 1820, Alexandria 
became Edinburg. But the community never 
prospered and soon became one of Georgia's 
ghost towns. 

The water wheel at White Mill, however, 
kept turning for almost 100 years, passing 
through a succession of owners such as Wil- 
liam Cleveland, who bought the mill in 1857 
for $1,397. Cleveland also ran a store, a 
blacksmith shop, and a ferry. He also farmed, 
reflecting both his ambition and probably the 
difficulty of earning much profit from only a 
single endeavor. Cleveland apparently was a 
leading figure in Edinburg *s brief history. He 
died July 9, 1861, presumably while on his 
way to fight in the Civil War: "Just as the 
15th Georgia regiment marched to the battle 
front he died with typhoid fever," wrote a 
reporter for The Elberton Star. 

The mill's longevity was partly a result of 






Figure 161: On the left is an otershot wtitfl, which intercepted water at the wheel top in buckets or against hoards; on 
the right Is a hreast wheel, which caught water at the middle of the wheel. 

its simple design, which researchers led by 
Robert Newman learned about through excava- 
tions, interviews, and document searches. To 
capture water power for the mill, big boulders 
were lined up to form a dam at the juncture of 
the Savannah River and Coldwater Creek. 
This barrier funneled water towards the river 
bank where it was channeled into the bottom 
of the paddle wheel. 

The wheel turned at the side of a three- 
story building. The first floor was made of 
granite blocks, while the other two floors were 
built of wood. If the mill was like many of its 
time, there was a wooden shaft inserted into 
the hub of the paddle wheel, and as the wheel 
turned, the shaft turned. The shaft then rotated 
another smaller, but still substantial, wheel 
inside the building. This interior wheel was 
ridged along its outside perimeter. Put another 
way, this interior wheel was a gear, which fit 
next to another gear that turned simultaneously 
and powered the big grinding stones that 
pulverized corn kernels into meal. Archeolo 
gists uncovered a large gear wheel, about two 
and-a-half feet in diameter, at the site. 

Over time, area mills became more sophis- 
ticated. In the last half of the 1800's. first 

porcelain then steel rollers replaced heavy 
millstones. By 1850, some shafts were made 
of wrought iron; by 1860, shafts were formed 
from rolled steel, making them lighter and 
more efficient. 

Around 1850, the American inventor Oliver 
Evans conceived the idea of wrapping heavy 
conveyor belts around the shafts. The belts 
then could turn machinery on several levels in 
the mill. In addition, the belts sometimes 
carried grain from floor to floor, functioning 
like miniature escalators. His invention eventu- 
ally led to many uses, spurring automation. 
Today, the same principal is evident in the 
automobile fan belt. 

Evans was not alone among Americans of 
the time in devising methods to propel indus- 
trial growth. The flood of ideas for industry 
that began in Europe earlier in the 1800's was 
now raging much more intensely in the United 
States. New inventions were appearing in 
record numbers. Mechanics, millwrights, and 
tinkerers of all sorts tried their hands at mak- 
ing products more efficiently and profitably. 
But some things didn't change for awhile, 
including White Mill. Year after year, it kept 
producing cornmeal. and something else. 


Archeologists discovered rem- 
nants there of a still for mak- 
ing liquor, a not uncommon 
occurrence for the era. After 
all, two of corn liquor's main 
ingredients, corn and water, 
were always handy. Most stills 
associated with mills were 
placed in nearby buildings. 
What was unusual about the 
still at White Mill was that it 
was right inside the building. 

White Mill, like so many 
others in the area, was de- 
stroyed in the great flood of 
1908. Its long existence was a 
testament to its sound tech- 
nology and good location near 
McGowan's Ferry, an impor- 
tant early transit point across 
the Savannah River. 

In the 1820's, a new idea began to spread 
in mill design. Influenced by the work of 
French inventor, Benoit Fourneyron, builders 
did away with the big water wheels and in- 
stalled smaller wheels, called turbines, placing 
them flat to the ground inside a confined 
space. Water, under pressure, was forced 
inside the confined space to drive the paddles 
of the wheel. Early turbines in the reservoir 
area and their box-like containers were almost 
always made of wood. James Edward Calhoun 
was an early, antebellum user of these tur- 

The Eureka Mill, on Beaverdam Creek, 
was eventually powered by this kind of tur- 
bine. Located in Georgia not far from the 
Mississippian ceremonial center, Beaverdam 
Creek Mound, the mill was built around 1820. 
Eureka Mill fit a pattern common in antebel- 
lum times because it was first associated with 
a plantation. Grist mills produced flour and 
cornmeal to feed the many plantation resi- 
dents, and also ground grain for neighboring 
farmers. Eureka Mill, like White Mill, was 
destroyed by the 1908 flood. Before its loss, 
however, the mill passed through various 

Figure 162: Archeologists found an old gear in the White Mill excavation. 

owners, including William Mattox, whose 
story conveys how quickly an entrepreneur's 
bright prospects could tarnish. 

Mattox, for a time, was a successful planter 
and businessman. He was associated with 
several mills, including one he named after 
himself. Born into a wealthy family in 1836, 
he attended the University of Georgia, then 
returned home to assume the role of a planter. 
By 1861, he owned 1,032 acres along the 
Georgia side of the Savannah River, north of 
Beaverdam Creek. When the Civil War erupt- 
ed, he joined the Confederate army as an 
officer. It's unclear, however, whether he 
served only until 1862 or for the duration of 
the conflict. What is clear is that by the end of 
the war, when many were strapped for cash, 
Mattox was spending. Evidence suggests that 
sometime during or immediately after the war, 
he built a mill on his property near the Savan- 
nah and called it Mattox Mill. 

By 1880, Mattox Mill contained two sets of 
mill stones for grinding grain into grist and 
flour. Five, metal-encased turbines generated 
power in a manner similar to the way water 
pressure builds when a finger is held over the 
nozzle of a hose. The case around the turbine 


More Pmn Jus! A Mill 

The story of Eurkea Mill shows how both ownership and the reasons for operating mills changed in the 
1800's. Built around 1820, 1 im-ka Mill had ibead) had sc\eral owners, including Tavner Fortson, before 
Joseph Ridker acquired major interest in the enterprise in 1837. along with other partners. Rucker also 
owned one of the largest plantations m the area. The mill remained under this ownership until near the end 
of the Civil War, when a new group of JQVCMlOCI bought the propeft) for $4,854. William Mattox. another 
well-to-do planter, was among them. 

The new owners sold the mill two years later to John Grogan and other in\estors. They apparently made 
improvements became by 1875 the mill was valued at $9,350, nearly tWIOC its worth a decade earlier. By 
this time, the mill probably used two wooden turbines, each with a metal hub and shaft. A dam diverted 
water from Beaverdam (reek into a ditch, called a millrace. which carried the flow into the mill to power 
the equipment. Like many dams of the period, this one was a crib dam, made of wood and shaped like a 
V. Rocks were piled up inside the V to help hold the dam in place. 

In the late 1800's, when almost evw ybu d ) tanned and hauled their CfOM to a mill for grinding, mills 
became the logical place to establish small service centers as well. At Eureka Mill, there was a machinery 
storehouse. I blacksmith, a shoe shop, and a house tor the miller. A small community called Eureka devel- 
oped nearby. 

John Grogan's daughter. Leela Grogan Hobbs. eventuall) inherited five-sixths of the mill in 1895, and 
bought the remaining shares to become sole owner b> 1907. She planned to convert the facility into a 
full-fledged cotton mill, hut whether she accomplished this goal is unknown. In 1908, 14 inches of ram fell 
in just 48 hours, raising Beaverdam Creek as much as 20 feet above its banks. The rampaging waters 
destroyed Eurkea Mill, which was never rebuilt. 

wheel funneled incoming water into a smaller 
and smaller space, before allowing it to es- 
cape. The added pressure helped spin the 
turbine wheel faster. The turbines at Mattox 
Mill could generate 100 horsepower, enough 
to grind 200 bushels of grain a day. 

To get water to the turbines of his mill. 
Mattox built a dam from his land to McCalla 
Island in the center of the Savannah River. 
The dam, located about a mile up river from 
the mill, directed water into a broad ditch, 
called a millrace, where it flowed towards the 
mill. Archcologists excavating the millrace 
found that it was 30 feet wide in places, 
although erosion over the years may have 
contributed to the width. The millrace aver- 
aged about ten feet deep and was a mile long, 
and gradually sloped downward (0 increase 
water pressure. 

Mattox sold the mill in 1889. apparently to 
raise money for a more ambitious project. The 
mill was just one of his successes. According 
to the Elbert ( ounty Tax Digest of 1 886- 1 887, 
he had increased his land holdings to 3.414 

acres, had personal property worth $24,222, 
and employed 40 people. Backed by these 
considerable holdings and encouraged by the 
arrival of the railroads, he was ready to tackle 
a major industrial investment. 

Poor transportation and subsequent isolation 
had held back development of big commercial 
mills in the region. Also, farming, the domi- 
nant employment, provided residents with little 
cash to buy what factories might produce. But 
by 1889, major railroad construction was 
underway, encouraging investors like Mattox 
to expand. The rails could provide them with 
a ready method for sending merchandise to 
distant markets. And they faced no shortage of 
potential employees. With tenant farming's 
meager pay, many farmers, both Blacks and 
Whites, were eager to work in factories, if 
they could find jobs. 

William Mattox and other prominent inves- 
tors intended to capitalize on this ready labor 
and the area's principal crop, cotton. They 
purchased Gray Mill in Elbert County for 
$1,300. and renamed it Heardmont Mills 


•V A'. ' P v. 1 K — 

.'w,.\V.- \ fcLw&frfc'-*L . 



:&&& DM £*I MILL POND 

V M i 

*shaft: Wagon 

Hosielrv V'^*^/ »£Y*fW^« 

Figure 163: Gregory Jeane created a typical mill complex model showing various 
services offered, including a blacksmith, gin, hotel, store, post office, and saw mill. 

because of its location near the small town of 
Heardmont. They planned to renovate this 
grist mill into a center for manufacturing 
various cotton products. 

Mattox was company president, and John 
McCalla, son of George McCalla who suffered 
such financial woes following the Civil War, 
was treasurer. Other investors included John 
Grogan, who owned Eureka Mill, and Eugene 
Heard, descendant of Stephen Heard for whom 
Heardmont was named, and others. Buying 
machinery in the Northeast was one of Mat- 
tox' s first tasks. He bought eight cording 
machines and spinning frames for 1,000 spin- 
dles. Newspapers of the day carried encourag- 
ing accounts about the project. According to 

these reports, the venture was 
experimental, but if successful, 
the mill would become one of 
the largest in the South. 

Heardmont Mills opened for 
business full of promise in 
March 1890, but disaster 
struck only three months later. 
A bolt of lightning hit the mill, 
setting it ablaze, and the build- 
ing burned beyond repair. The 
investors had no insurance. 
William Mattox suffered a 
devastating and unrecoverable 
financial loss from the fire. 
Other setbacks followed. By 
1898, he was unable to pay his 
bills, and a New York life 
insurance company filed suit 
against him. Eventually, the 
Elbert County commissioners 
stepped in and sold most of his 
land. Not long after, in 1902, 
the life of a man once so suc- 
cessful and admired ended in a 
gun battle. He was killed by 
his son-in-law. 

The textile manufacturing 
boom that Mattox had intended 
to be a part of did occur in the 
South, and the Russell area 
was caught up in the growth. But heavy silt 
accumulation— caused by persistent ero- 
sion—clogged rivers, millraces, and machin- 
ery, and led to high maintenance costs. The 
erosion also continued to promote flooding, 
which eventually proved much harder to 

After Heardmont Mills burned, Thomas 
Swift, an Elberton businessman, and his two 
sons, William and James, bought the property. 
They built another mill about a half mile from 
where the old mill had stood, and called their 
enterprise Pearle Mill, in honor of Thomas' 
daughter. Thomas Swift, a Georgia legislator 
from 1896 to 1899, was an ardent spokesman 
for Southern industrialization, a cause he 



ligure 164: A crib dam was held in place In stacked rocks. 

actively pursued on his own and tried to rally 
others to join. "I have been making yarn for 
weavers in Philadelphia and have had all that 
I could do," he once declared, adding, " That 
suit of clothes you wear is made of Southern 
cotton transformed into cloth worsted by the 
skill of a New England mill. Go into any store 
in the land and hidden under various deceptive 
names you will buy back some of the very 
cotton which you looked upon in the field last 

Pearle Mill opened 
in January 1896. Built 
of granite and brick, 
the two-and-a-half- story 
building was at the end 
of a half-mile millrace. 
The mill began opera- 
tion with 26 carding 
machines which disen- 
tangled cotton fibers. 
The fibers were then 
spun into yarn by 
3,000 spindles. By 
1905, the factory could 
produce twice as much 
cotton yarn as it did on 
opening day. There 
were now 8,000 spin 
dies. Swift apparently 
hadn't been exaggerat- 

ing when he talked of the potential 
demand for his products. Pearle 
Mill spun yarn, manufactured 
rope, made wadded cotton stuffing 
for furniture and mattresses, and 
produced other cotton products. 

Entire families, including young 
children, often labored in the mill 
and lived in a small village called 
Beverly, which sprung up nearby. 
By 1908, Beverly consisted of 38 
company-built houses, a store, a 
school, a post office, and a Met- 
hodist church called Henry's Cha- 
pel. The minister thought he pos- 
sessed a divine power to heal 
illnesses, according to one account. Residents 
of Beverly also had their own community 
court to settle disputes. 

William Swift discussed his employees in 
an interview with 777^ Elberton Star. "Most of 
these people... too poor to own lands, were in 
a sad condition indeed. Unlettered, with no 
employment, suffering from adversity which 
seems to delight in visiting the poor, anything 
which would give them work was a godsend. 






iNtf »te» 

1 i^ure 165: The parts of a metal-encased turbine found at Mattox Mill are labeled in this 
drawing. Such turbines generated power by squeezing water into a tight space. 


Figure 166: Tanner's Mill in Hall County, Georgia, is one of the oldest grist mills in the 
state. Most early mills resembled Tanner's Mill, but styles gradually changed. 

We have quite a colony recruited from this 
class and they are today self respecting as any 
community of people in the land. They make 
all the way from $3 to $6 a week apiece, with 
plenty of work for every member of the fami- 

As to his use of child labor, Swift stated: 
"It is not in the economical interests of mill 
owners to have children under twelve or 
fourteen years of age, because they are waste- 
ful and often in the way. The pressure to 
employ them comes from the families them- 
selves and has been essential in the crush and 

necessity of new conditions." 

Callie May Hudson, descendant of Stephen 
Heard and granddaughter of two investors in 
Heardmont Mill, remembered that the homes 
in Beverly were lined along an unpaved road, 
and that some houses had backyards extending 
"right down to the millrace." She recalled a 
large house built for the mill superintendent 
and another big one for the doctor who lived 
on the site. 

Both Whites and Blacks worked in Pearle 
Mill, although Blacks were restricted to the 
lowest jobs, such as janitorial work; at least 



Map 28: Among the mill sites studied in the Russell Reservoir Project Area were Eureka, White, Mattox, Pearle, 
and Gray-Heardmont Mills. 


Figure 167: Entire families worked at Pearle Mill and lived in the community of Beverly where a group gathered before 
their house. The horn of an old record player can be seen on the porch. 

one Black worked as a cook for the superin- 

Beverly residents shopped at a company 
store, and also at a pottery shed belonging to 
George Chandler. People at the turn of the 
century continued to make ceramic vessels for 
many uses— to hold molasses, lard, preserves, 
butter, milk, and whiskey. Chandler became 
one of the better known potters in the area. 
Born to farmers in 1853, Chandler hung 
around pottery shops as a youngster, gradually 
picking up the skills he would use to help earn 
a living. None of his four brothers learned 
how to be potters, but one brother, Oscar 
David, did help Chandler sell his wares. 

A great-nephew, Raymond Chandler, Jr., 
who lived near Elberton, told researchers 
stories about the two brothers hauling pottery 
in a covered wagon on trips that lasted up to 
a week or more. They peddled the pottery 
house to house throughout the countryside, 

charging only pennies for objects that required 
hours of work to make. Nonetheless, these 
earnings were precious. The brothers were 
concerned about robbers, so they camped 
some nights in cemeteries where they were 
unlikely to be bothered. 

By 1900, George Chandler had moved to 
Elberton where he rented a house on Factory 
Street. Making pots was Chandler's abiding 
interest, but his wife and children pressured 
him to accept a mill job to earn a steadier 
income. He, and three of his children, worked 
in the mills in 1900, according to the census, 
although his specific job couldn't be deci- 
phered from the records. Mill work, however, 
didn't keep him from pursuing his pottery. 
"Dad was a dreamer," Evelyn Attaway, his 
daughter explained, "but Mom was a material- 

Chandler used several shops over the years. 
Sometime during the first decade of the new 


century, he began pursuing his art in the brick 
cellar of a millworker's house just beyond the 
bridge that crossed Beaverdam Creek heading 
to Pearle Mill. 

Like the Indians so long before him, he 
found the material for his ceramics near the 
creek where he dug up great quantities of 
clay. He hauled the clay by mule-drawn wag- 
on back to the cellar, where he mixed in 
water. He kept the material moist by covering 
it with wet burlap until he was ready for the 
next step. 

Chandler began making a pot by slapping 
the gray, white-streaked clay across a taut 
wire onto a table, a process his daughter 
likened to kneading dough. This process 
removed air bubbles and coarse particles, and 
made the clay smooth and consistent. Next, he 
formed the pots on a treadle wheel he pumped 
with his feet. After the pots dried, he fired 
them in a rectangular brick kiln. There was a 
peephole in the kiln that allowed him to check 
the progress of the firing. 

Chandler made a variety of vessels— jugs, 
churns, bowls, pitchers, storage jars, and later 
flowerpots, which became his specialty. 
When his wife died, Chandler stopped 
making pottery for a time. 
Eventually, though, he 
opened another shop, this 
^. time on the banks of the 

Savannah River, not far 
from Calhoun Falls, South 
Carolina, where he moved 
to live with a daughter. 
Chandler died in 1934, but 
residents retained his pot- 
tery long after. 

Pearle Mill suffered the 
same fate as many other 
mills in the area. The 1908 
floodwaters reached the 
mill's second floor, causing 
the costly machinery to 
rust. The owners declared 
bankruptcy, and the mill 

Figure 169: The shell of Pearle Mill Mill Mood when ■fChtolwhll examined (he site. was so 'd in a public aUC- 

rigure 168: George Chandler was a potter and mill 
worker in Elbert County. He sold his pots from a wagon. 


Figure 170: The 1908 flood that destroyed so many mills filled the streets of 
Augusta, Georgia, downriver, with water above a man's knees. 

tion in May 1909. 

After that, Pearle Mill operated sporadically 
as it passed through several more hands over 
the years. A holding company from the North- 
east renamed it Beaver Cotton Mills, but the 
venture had become unprofitable and was 
permanently closed in 1928. That fall, the 
mill, which was heavily insured, was gutted 
by fire and declared a complete loss. 

Although textile industries continued to 
thrive nearby, particularly in Anderson, South 
Carolina, the 1908 flood washed away most 
hopes for successful mills near the Savannah 
River within the Russell area. The river and 
creeks, the same sources of power that had 
propelled the businesses, bringing fortunes to 
some and bankruptcy to others, ultimately 
destroyed the mills altogether. 


Figure 171 : As an old man, .lauu-s Edwiltl Calhoun continued to ride his horse with 
his man servant along this Millwood Plantation road near the Savannah River. The 
photograph was taken in 1X75. 


Chapter 1 8 : The Last of an Era 

1865 to 1889 

The vastness of Millwood Plantation accen- 
tuated a sense of loneliness and quiet as the 
elderly man and his horse moved slowly down 
the riverside path. The horse stumbled slight- 
ly, then righted itself. The rider seemed not to 
notice. His face was turned towards the river, 
which sparkled under bright sunlight. James 
Edward Calhoun, on his daily morning ride, 
sat ram-rod straight in the saddle, still main- 
taining the military bearing of his youth. His 
man servant, William, followed a discreet 
distance behind. The clip-clopping of their 
horses' hooves mixed with the bird calls and 
squirrels chattering from the woods. 

Riding horseback was a good way for the 
octogenarian to get fresh air, but, more impor- 
tant, this was a way for him to keep an eye on 
his extensive property. He spurred his horse 
forward towards one of his mills, for even in 
old age, Calhoun continued his fervid interest 
in industry. This was a man, after all, who 
had named his plantation, Millwood, after a 
millrace funneling water through a small, 
dense forest. 

Given his fascination with industry, it's not 
surprising that Calhoun was an early supporter 
and investor in railroads, or, that before the 
Civil War he developed a fascination for gold 
mining, a preoccupation that continued after 
the war. A map of his postbellum holdings 
shows a gold mine and two other spots on 
both sides of the Savannah River where gold 
was to be found. 

It's hard to know how successful he was 
with the mine. He leased it out in 1867 in 
what Charles Orser called a "mineralogical 
sharecropping scheme." Calhoun required the 
man who leased the mine to buy all supplies 
and tools from him, and also to pay him two- 
ninths of any gold found. But Calhoun voided 
the contract a year later because the lessee had 

failed to do the work. Nonetheless, Calhoun 
found some ore on his land because about two 
years later he sent what he described as "a 
lump of pure gold" from his mine as a wed- 
ding gift to a friend. 

Another enterprise Calhoun tried in an 
unusually big way, only to be sidetracked, was 
producing molasses. Characteristically, he 
used a novel technique. Researchers discov- 
ered four brick structures resembling outdoor 
barbecue pits at Millwood that were apparently 
used to cook molasses. The four ovens were 
built over a brick floor and aligned side-by- 
side. Two of them were shaped like giant 

Sorghum cane had been introduced to the 
Piedmont in the 1850's, and by 1855 wide- 
scale experimenting was underway, with 
syrup, rum, and other products the result. 
Usually, the sugary juice was squeezed out of 
the cane with a rotary press powered by 
mules. The liquid was then boiled into syrup 
in long pans sitting over rectangular hearths. 

But practices that suited others rarely satis- 
fied Calhoun, who apparently preferred an 
alternative method called the French Train. 
This procedure was popular on sugar planta- 
tions in Louisiana, coastal Georgia, and the 
Caribbean; Calhoun may have learned of the 
process during his naval travels. 

However, the procedure apparently didn't 
live up to its potential at Millwood. Records 
show that in 1860 Calhoun produced 500 
gallons of molasses, but the equipment he had 
was capable of producing a good deal more if 
used regularly. The indication that Calhoun 
didn't use the giant furnaces very often sug- 
gests that his sweeping ambitions for mass 
production had exceeded his reach, a familiar 
pattern throughout his life. 

For all his failures at reaching lofty goals, 


Figure 172: An 1875 photograph captures what may have been a gold mine sluice for one of Calhoun's many enterprises. 
Ever the entrepreneur, the planter did find some gold on his property. 

Calhoun, by 1880, still remained one of the 
largest landowners in the area. That year his 
saw mill turned out 20,000 board feet, another 
indication that he had recovered from the 
hardships of Reconstruction. He also continued 
to invest in new construction, contracting in 
1877 to build a two-story cotton gin. And 
while his industrial schemes often floundered, 
he was wise enough with finances not to get in 
over his head. He never invested more than he 
could afford to lose. 

As Russell investigators examined the lives 
of other major landowners who lived after the 
Civil War, they came across the story of John 
Henry Grogan, owner of Eureka Mill. Grogan 
was an itinerant Methodist minister who, 
between 1870 and 1873, built a home adjacent 
to the mill and Beaverdam Creek. By his death 
in 1896, which came soon after he returned 
from a temperance meeting in Royston, Geor- 
gia, Grogan owned over 1 ,600 acres. He had 

earlier donated two acres to Eureka Church, 
where he preached. (The church is now called 
Middleton Methodist Church.) 

If he was not the first, Grogan was among 
the earliest to use locally-quarried granite 
blocks for his house foundation. As others 
eventually also recognized granite's worth, it 
became the economic backbone of Elbert 
County, producing jobs for many. The sturdy 
stone piers Grogan chose to use supported a 
one-and-a-half- story house, and, like most 
postbellum residences, Grogan 's house was 
built with a wooden frame. The frame was 
covered with wood siding, a technique that 
gained popularity after 1 850 when there were 
more saw mills to provide finished wood. 
Rough logs were no longer the only choice 
within most peoples' reach and manufactured 
cut nails also became cheaper. 

With so much frame housing around, 
people found new ways to display social status 


Figure 173: Millwood tenant farmers ran a mule-driven, rotary press in 1875. 


Figure 174: Remains of two boilers, possibly used for a molasses-making method called the French Train, were 
excavated at Millwood Plantation. 


]- r '-~3g£&'%^'' 

Figure 175: The Harper-Featherstone tenant house was built for slaves. 

from the main house by a breeze- 
way. Distancing the kitchen from 
the living quarters in this manner 
protected residents from the dan- 
ger of cooking fires. 

The Grogan House also had 
three interior brick fireplaces, 
another postbellum trend for all 
economic classes. The chimneys of 
slave cabins and the poorer White 
residences fell out of favor be- 
cause they were made of mud and 
sticks or clay and were highly sus- 
ceptible to catching fire. 

John Grogan' s three daughters 
ultimately inherited the property, 
which, after 1914, was occupied 
by tenant farmers. Among the last 
of Grogan family members to own 

in the architectural designs and decora- 
tions for their residences. Grogan, for 
instance, used stained glass to outline his 
front door and painted his house white 
with green shutters. None of the nearby 
tenants apparently painted their houses, 
probably because they didn't own them 
and didn't have much money. 

Investigators from the Historical Amer- 
ican Buildings Survey (HABS) examined 
several tenant residences in the Russell 
area, including the Harper-Featherstone 
farm house. Once a one-room, log cabin 
for slaves, this house was later enlarged to 
four rooms and covered with board sid- 
ing. Originally owned by the Harpers, 
who also ran the local ferry, the house 
was easily accessible to all visitors. 

In contrast, the Grogan House reflected 
a continuing desire among the well-heeled 
for privacy, a trend evident in their resi- 
dences before the Civil War. A protective 
wall of shrubbery between the house and 
road, and a front porch, helped screen 
against intrusions. The house, which was 
T-shaped with a center hall, had a kitchen 
and dining room in a rear wing, separated 

.. -<<an 


Figure 176: The tenant house well pump was built in a shelter that 
had a hole in the wall to let the cat in to catch mice. 


Map 29: Historic sites studied in the Russell Reservoir Project Area included the Grogan and Harper houses. 





i -'I g f i 

J5= : . 

It i 

35M5 . 


-oanjoiM. ucoa «» 

1 igure 177: A side \iew ofthc (Jrogan House was one of a nuinoer of drawings made for 
the Historic American Ituildiugs SwVCJ <»f structures in the stud> area. 

Figure 178: Quarried granite piers sn parted the (.rot;. in 
House, one of the first homes where granite was used. 

the land was Grogan's 
granddaughter, Elmira. 
Crippled from childhood 
because of a bout with 
polio, she worked as a 

As time passed, with 
tenant farms increasingly 
spread willy-nilly over 
plantations, the tight con- 
trol planters had exerted 
over their property before 
the Civil War vanished. 
The pre-war philosophy 
that there was a manifest 
hierarchy with planters on 
top was giving way to doc- 
trines of business manage- 
ment. But how landlords 
implemented this new thinking varied widely, 
as evidenced in housing they provided work- 
ers. Some tenant houses, though modest, were 
comfortable and indistinguishable from those 
built by many small farm owners. There were 
also tenants who were able to improve and 
enlarge their rented homes through their own 
efforts. But others lived in houses that were 
little more than hovels. For them, existence 
was not much better than the life of farm 

Archeologists were able to demonstrate 
status differences among landowners, tenants, 
and overseers in various ways. Dishes, for 
example, were important findings at Millwood 
where ceramic pieces were uncovered in the 
remains of various houses. Calhoun's house 
excavation, for instance, yielded more types of 
dishes and containers than any other structure, 
and also showed evidence of a greater number 
of dishes. Also, befitting his standing, there 
were more elaborate decorations on the ceram- 
ics that Calhoun used than on any of the tenant 

Between Calhoun's status and that of his 
tenants were the plantation overseer and Caro- 
line Walker, Calhoun's personal servant, who 
was a widow and ex-slave. Walker held an 


Figure 179: The Henry Grogan House had stained glass around the front door, one way 
its builder demonstrated his elevated status. 

esteemed place in Calhoun's household and 
lived in a house only a few steps away from 
his. Some contend she was his mistress, but 
researchers found no substantiation for that 
speculation. Walker was, however, one of 
only two non-relatives named in Calhoun's 
will. The second item in his will, according to 
one expert, awarded 150 acres of land "to my 
faithful servant Caroline Kessler" and her 
children. Others assert that the will reads "to 
my faithful servant Caroline Calhoun." All 
agree, however, that the document refers to 
Caroline Walker. 

Calhoun left another 150 acres to Edward 
Keiser, one of his overseers for several years. 
Everything else went to relatives. 

A final note of interest about the artifacts 
from Calhoun's suspected residence was the 
large quantity of tableware, including plates, 
bowls, cups, and saucers. However, there was 

a scarcity of storage vessels. The plentiful 
tableware suggests that the so-called "Hermit 
of Millwood" was capable of and accustomed 
to entertaining groups of visitors, while the 
dearth of storage vessels indicates his food 
was probably stored outside the residence, 
possibly in the smoke and milk houses. 

Calhoun died at Millwood October 31, 
1889, leaving behind about 3,000 acres of 
cultivated land, and about 9,000 acres unculti- 
vated. There were 95 tenants on his property, 
which shows just how big an operation he still 
owned. In all of South Carolina in 1900, only 
8.5 percent of landowners had 20 or more 
tenants, so, although his personal estate was 
valued at only $5,128, Calhoun died a very 
rich man. He had witnessed remarkable 
change in his 91 years, and had done more 
than his share to bring some of that change 


Figure 180: The arrival of the railroad changed life considerably in the Savannah 
River Valle\, ending a long isolation from the rest of the nation. 


Chapter 19: "Rushing Through the Night" 

1890 to 1930 

The years between 1890 and 1930 were a 
time of boom and bust for the Russell Reser- 
voir area. The period began with an event of 
enormous significance— the coming of the 
railroads. Major rail lines were laid across the 
region, connecting east and west through 
Abbeville, South Carolina, and Elberton, 
Georgia, and traveling on to Atlanta. Another 
track passed from Augusta, Georgia, north 
along the South Carolina side of the Savannah 

The railroads spawned major change. The 
Savannah River Valley, virtually shut off from 
the rest of the nation for so long, quickly 
gained nearly constant contact with the outside 
world. The Seaboard Air Line, cutting east to 
west across the area, linked Georgia and South 
Carolina in a rail network that tied together 
Atlanta, Birmingham, Washington, D.C., and 
New York. 

With the advent of widespread rail, the 
Savannah River lost its importance as a way to 
get goods to market. Numbers from the time 
tell the story. In 1900, 23,000 of Elbert Coun- 
ty's 30,000 bales of cotton, some 77 percent, 
were transported by rail. Of the rest, 6,000 
bales went to local textile mills, and only 
1 ,000 were shipped by other methods. That so 
much traffic shifted so fast to the railroads 
shows just how bad the local transportation 
system formerly was. 

Up until the 1920's, roads for automobiles, 
trucks, and wagons continued to be rut-filled 
and sometimes impassable. The situation 
improved when highways started to crisscross 
the region in the 1920's as the automobile 
transformed from a novelty for the rich to a 
common mode of transportation. By 1927, the 
Georgia-Carolina Memorial Bridge spanned 
the Savannah River, marking the beginning of 
the end for ferry traffic. 

That same year, Charles Lindbergh made 
his historic solo flight across the Atlantic 
Ocean. Now, for better or worse, nothing 
could prevent change. 

Before ferries became obsolete, however, a 
tragedy occurred involving a multiple drown- 
ing that deeply affected people on both sides 
of the river. Until 1928, Harper's Ferry con- 
tinued to be important to local transportation. 
Robert Morrow, a Harper Plantation tenant 
farmer, operated the ferry most of the time, 
but on Easter Sunday 1920, another tenant, 
Lester Waters, was at the helm. Waters and 
his new bride, Alice, were entertaining a 
group of friends and relatives. Late in the 
afternoon, the group decided to cross the river 
to visit with more friends on the Georgia side. 

The Savannah was higher than usual and 
especially swift that afternoon, and perhaps the 
boat carried too many passengers. Whatever 
the causes, the ferry suddenly foundered in the 
swirling current and capsized. Ten of the 11 
passengers drowned, including the young 
newly weds. The lone survivor was a shocked 
boy unable to say what had happened. 

As a way of life revolving around ferry 
transportation disappeared, a new one centered 
around the railroad developed. The railroad 
gave towns a competitive edge over nearby 
communities without trains. Some towns 
became more important as a result because 
they could serve larger markets. Elberton, 
Calhoun Falls (named in honor of James 
Edward Calhoun), Middleton, Iva, and Stan- 
were among those towns that flourished begin- 
ning in the late 1800's. Heardmont reached its 
peak sometime later, during World War I. 

The town of Lowndesville even shifted its 
boundaries because of the railroad. Local 
historian Arnette Carlisle remembered what 
happened: "The railroad is about a third of a 


mile from where the town grew up, and when 
it came out here to the west of the old town 
and built a depot down there, then the business 
firms gravitated toward the depot. We had 
what we call a 'new town* and an 'old town'. 
...'New town' started building up shortly after 
the railroad came... the dwellings all came in 
after 1890, but some of the stores and ware- 
houses began to build up as soon as the rail- 
road came through there. There was a rivalry 
between the merchants all during the year, 
'new town' and 'old town.' Of course, these 
boys down here at the railroad had the advan- 
tage, they didn't have to hire somebody to 
haul their goods a mile to a half-mile away. 
One of them even built his store on the side 
track down there. He could use handtrucks to 
unload right into the store... We had two 
passenger trains each way, north and south, 
each day." 

None of the area's small towns mush- 

roomed in population, but their merchants did 
capitalize on a golden moment. Cotton was 
booming and the towns provided the gin mills. 
Some of the gins had compresses to squeeze 
the cotton into compact bales so that trains 
could carry more bales in less space, lowering 
shipping costs. The local economy also re- 
ceived a boost when the price of olive oil shot 
through the roof in 1880. Suddenly there was 
a market for a substitute— cotton seed oil; both 
Starr and Lowndesville built plants to fulfill 
the demand for the newly popular cotton seed 

Local merchants became important, power- 
ful figures. The gin mills and other cotton 
facilities, coupled with the railroad, meant that 
merchants could sell cotton and cotton prod- 
ucts directly from Elberton, Lowndesville, and 
other nearby communities to outside markets. 
And the competition between merchants in 
different communities meant that sometimes. 

ligure 181: The (Georgia-Carolina Memorial Bridge was dedicated on Armistice Day, 1927, in honor of soldiers killed 
in World War I. The bridge was christened with a bottle of ginger ale. 


if a farmer was willing to 
drive his wagon a little far- 
ther down the road or hold 
onto his produce just a little 
longer, he might get a better 
price. Tenant farmers were 
no longer quite so dependent 
on a single landlord as a 
result. And if they tired of 
farming altogether, the rail- 
road now offered a quick 
way to leave and try their 
luck somewhere else. 

All four counties in the 
Russell area experienced a 
spurt in economic growth 
and increased industrializa- 
tion, but none could compare 
with Anderson County, 
South Carolina. There was only one textile 
mill in the county in the late 1880's, but by 
1909 there were 16, with a combined capital- 
ization of $7 million. Anderson County mills 
employed 1,000 people who annually pro- 
cessed 150,000 bales of cotton. 

The secret to this success was cheap power. 
The Anderson Water, Light, and Power Com- 
pany built two generating plants before the 
turn of the century. By 1906, The Savannah 
River Power Company had completed a plant 
at Gregg Shoals, not far from where Paleoln- 

Figure 182: Middleton, 
railroad, which provided 

Georgia, was one of the communities influenced by the 
a new way for merchandise to reach broader markets. 

dians left one of their Clovis spearpoints more 
than 10,000 years earlier. 

Low energy costs encouraged industrial 
development, leading to more farmers aban- 
doning the land for factory and mill jobs. 
Many of them made the transition just in time 
to escape impending disaster. Boll weevils 
swarming up from Mexico reached the Savan- 
nah River Valley about 1919. Like millions of 
buzz saws cutting through soft wood, the 
weevils devoured cotton crops. The local 
agricultural economy staggered, and not just 

Figure 183: Cotton continued to boom awhile longer, with some of it ginned at Calhoun Mills, seen here in 1930. 


Map 30: Boll weevils entered Texas in 1X92, (Jeorgia in 1915, and South Carolina in 1917, destroying cotton and 
lives. The insects ate their way through cotton patches like locusts in wheat fields. 

because of the weevils. The soil was exhaust- 
ed. Years of neglect and erosion led to smaller 
and smaller crop yields, with farmers having 
to work harder to produce less. Then demand 
for cotton slackened, causing a panic among 
property owners. They booted faithful tenants 
off the land, while other tenants just gave up 
and left on their own. Population decline in 
the region was significant once again, with 
many Whites moving to bigger Southern 
towns, and many Blacks flocking to cities in 
the North and Midwest. 

But some stubbornly clung to the land. Jim 
White was an example. His farm near Beaver- 
dam Creek in Elbert County was originally 
owned by Bynum Dye, son of the planter 
George Washington Dye and his slave Luan- 
da. Jim White bought the property in 1926 and 
turned it into a thriving enterprise. He suc- 
ceeded in farming, while others failed, by 
diversifying. White grew a wide variety of 
crops and also raised various forms of live- 
stock. With over 100 acres, he owned more 
property than any other Black, without inher- 
iting it, in the Heardmont community. When 

he died in 1956, his four daughters continued 
to farm, using mules just as their father had. 

The McCallas lived on the other side of the 
Savannah River in South Carolina. They 
managed to recover from deep financial trou- 
bles by being tough and shrewd. George 
McCalla, described earlier, saw his fortunes 
plummet after the Civil War. By his death in 
1886, he had little money and heavy debts. He 
had managed, however, to hang on to about 
2,000 acres. McCalla's four sons, including 
John and Isaac, started rebuilding with that 
inheritance. Isaac, his father's executor, re- 
ceived permission from the other heirs to sell 
some of the land to pay off debts, for which 
he also used tenant farmers' rents. Then he 
started on the long road back to financial 

By 1894, Isaac McCalla had either bought 
or was managing his brothers' portions of 
their father's land, and by 1913, he had almost 
doubled the plantation from 2,158 to 3.490 
acres. Isaac McCalla emerged as one of the 
new breed of planters who also wore a busi- 
ness suit, a versatility that helped him ride the 



Figure 184: The James White House was on land once owned by Bynum Dye. 
White was a successful Black farmer with more than 100 acres near Heardmont. 

crest of economic good times in the region. 
Among other pursuits, he held half interest in 
his brother John's business, which included 

At his death, Isaac McCalla's land was 
divided among his three children who appar- 
ently stayed in farming and continued to rent 
to tenants and sharecroppers as their father 
had. The McCalla family remained a major 
economic force in the area for many years. 

The story of the Harper family goes in a 
different direction. When the family was last 
mentioned, Henry, Civil War veteran and 
ex-prisoner of war, had retired from the South 
Carolina House of Representatives with his 
financial affairs in a downward spiral. He died 
in 1886, and while there was no recorded will, 
he apparently left what remained of his land to 
four children. How much property was in- 
volved is unclear. 

Weston Harper, the oldest son, had, by 
1894, bought most of his brothers' and sisters' 
shares, and owned 1,306 acres worth $7,250. 
Weston shared a house with his wife Alice, 
seven children, his sister Jennie, and his 
brother Clarence. Weston Harper did well 
economically throughout the early 1900's. By 
1913, he was still financially sound, according 

to tax records. But sometime after the boll 
weevils invaded and the cotton market began 
to slump, Harper's fortunes tumbled. By 1926, 
he had lost his farm in court, probably be- 
cause of debts. Douglas Featherstone bought 
the property at auction, and owned the land as 
an absentee landlord until 1979. 

The last family tracked through the years 
was the Clinkscales. They represent the mid- 
dle-income farmers who once comprised the 
majority of Whites living in the study bound- 
aries. The first Clinkscales in the area were 
William Franklin Clinkscales and his wife 
Lucinda. They arrived in the mid- 1 850 's and 
settled on about 450 acres in Abbeville Coun- 
ty, South Carolina, where they built a house 
that would be fondly known to three genera- 
tions as the "Old Home Place." 

William Clinkscales struggled through the 
trials of the Civil War and Reconstruction, but 
somehow retained his 450 acres. He died at 91 
on December 4, 1906, and Lucinda, his wife, 
died 15 days later. Their estate was divided 
among eight children and five grandchildren, 
with their son, Ezekiel, eventually buying all 
the farm from the others. 

Ezekiel Clinkscales lived in the "Old Home 
Place" for a number of years and continued to 


Map 31' Historic sit«-s studied in tin- Kussell RuiMOlr Project Area were often tracked through several generations. 


Figure 185: Three generations of the Clinkscales family lived in a house they called 
"The Old Home Place" in Abbeville County, South Carolina. 

farm, gradually acquiring more land. He even 
managed to triple the farm's size by 1933 in 
the midst of the Great Depression. By then, he 
had 1,316 acres, and his wife Susan owned 
500 more. They had one son, Joseph Ezekiel, 
born in 1913, who died at age 19 trying to 
save a cousin from drowning in the Savannah 
River. Susan Clinkscales died four years later, 
and Ezekiel subsequently remarried. He died 
after a fall in 1943, not far from his beloved 
family home. 

One of Ezekiel Clinkscales 1 grandnephews, 
Henry A. Cook, vividly remembered the 
farmer and provided details about him and his 
ancestral home to researcher Marlessa Gray. 
Cook visited the farm every summer for a 
month between ages four and 12 when Ezekiel 
Clinkscales was still alive. The boy alternated 
between staying at the "Old Home Place" and 
with nearby relatives. 

Cook recalled that fruit was at its best when 
he arrived in early July. His mother spent time 
with relatives "putting up pears, peaches, 
beans, and such things in big Mason jars; in 
making jams and jellies of the abundant ber- 
ries and grapes and watermelon rind pickle. 
The big orchard was loaded with fruit for 
anyone to pick and eat who wished them. All 

were in great variety. Their flavors were 
delicious and there were no poison sprays to 
be washed off in those days. " 

Stories adults told about the Indians who 
once lived on the land captivated him as a 
boy, an interest further flamed by the many 
Indian artifacts scattered around the farm. 
Indians, Cook said, left "behind all kinds of 
stone arrow and tomahawk heads, partly 
buried in the sand, which were a constant 
stimulus to us to play at being Indians. We 
had a copy of Ernest Thompson Seton's book, 
Two Little Savages, which was kind of a bible 
to us. It was filled with drawings and descrip- 
tions of all kinds of Indian equipment: tepees, 
headdresses, moccasins, bows and arrows. 
Our fervor to make all of these things was 
limited only by our extreme youth. 

"Another favorite and exciting sport for us 
was to fish and ride in the bateaux in the 
Savannah River. But that required grown-up 
supervision. And sometimes we could per- 
suade them to take us across the river on 
Tucker's Ferry not far up river. Mr. Tucker, 
the ferryman, also had a sugar and syrup mill 
down at the ferry landing. We took our family 
cane down there to be extracted in a mule 
powered rotary press. It was then boiled down 


Figure 186: Besides changing economic life in the region, trains gave residents a new 
way to travel. Many people left when the boll weevil invaded. 

to the desired consistency. Sugar had to be 
boiled longer." 

" Uncle Zeke [Ezekiel Clinkscales] 
took me with him on his tours of the farm 
where gangs of men were at work in the 
fields. I rode behind my Uncle on his horse. 
He was a wonderfully kind and patient man 
and he became very fond of me, probably 
because he was unmarried then and had no 
boys of his own. We acquired a kind of sym- 
pathetic understanding that is rare in this 
workaday world. When my Uncle was too 
busy to take me, I could play for hours alone 
about the farm and its interesting equip- 
ment... To a young town-bred boy like me, 

both farms were endless sources of interest. 
Both had old steam engines, used occasionally 
to power the saw mills and sometimes to do 
threshing. We kids spent many hours playing 
on them and imagining ourselves engineers, 
driving them and blowing their whistles. 

"There were also the blacksmith shops, 
with their big bellows to fan the charcoal fires 
to the necessary white heat to make horseshoes 
and other implements." 

And late at night when the play had ended 
and the grownups had stormed in to quiet the 
children, "peace would reign again. Then in 
the quiet night, we could occasionally hear the 
Seaboard Railroad trains over in Georgia 


Figure 187: A photograph of Calhoun Falls, South Carolina, taken around 1940, shows the railroad hotel at the end 
of the street. The hotel was part of economic progress brought by the rails. 

blowing for their crossings, on their way to 
and from Atlanta. 

"I have long ago decided that railroad 
engineers are really big kids at heart. They 
love to play tunes on their whistles as they 
rush headlong through the night. They strike 
a tremendous response in the hearts of small 
boys, lucky enough to hear them on a dark 

Ezekiel Clinkscales died in 1943, and the 

farm was divided between two nephews, Ralph 
and Ray Clinkscales, the next year, as World 
War II was beginning to draw to an end. 

Eventually, the "Old Home Place" was 
owned by absentee landlords. A hurricane 
damaged one of the chimneys in 1976, but the 
house remained intact. Then, in 1977, after 
some 130 years of figuring so prominently in 
the lives of three generations of a family, the 
house burned to the ground. 

Figure 188: The faculty of Harbison College, Abbeville, South Carolina, was photographed in 1894. The Black school, 
sponsored by the Presbyterian Church, was the center of controversy and tragedy. 


Chapter 20: Mother to Daughter, Father to Son 

1890 to 1950 

Minnie Walker, 89, retraced her life as she 
walked along an old dirt road at the former 
Millwood Plantation. There, in wood buildings 
long since gone, she was born, married, and 
gave birth to her children, just like her grand- 
mother before her. They were "Calhoun 
people," she explained, a tag that stayed with 
her family long after the Civil War ended the 
slavery that bound them to James Edward 

Working in scorching heat in cotton fields, 
wearing out new shoes as she danced to a 
fiddle, carrying a basket of food her mother 
prepared for the sick, these were some of the 
memories that seeing her old home place 
revived. Her recollections, along with those of 
many others, form one of the last undertakings 
of the Russell studies, a collection of oral 
history from elderly Blacks living in Elbert 
and Abbeville Counties. 

Unlike James Edward Calhoun, whose life 
was well documented through his diaries, 
letters, and legal documents, the stories of 
"Calhoun's people" and most other slaves and 
their early descendants went largely unrecord- 
ed. Genealogies, historians' mainstays, were 
sometimes limited to just a few generations 
because slaves could be taken away from their 
families and never see them again. Minnie 
Walker explained that she never knew her 
grandfather because he was sold away from 
Millwood to another planter seeking a male 
slave to be used "like a breeding horse." 

Also, Blacks customarily took the name of 
slaveowners, which could further erode famil- 
ial links. Because they were often purposely 
kept illiterate, few slaves learned to inscribe 
family Bibles with marriages, births, and 
deaths. If they were mentioned in legal docu- 
ments, such as property inventories, it was 
often only by sex and age with names omitted. 

Even as late as the 1950' s, Southern Blacks 
were required by law to receive a separate 
education from Whites, and this was usually 
an unequal education. Before that, well into 
the 1900' s, school for Black children in the 
South was often limited to only three months 
of the year. And if they were ill-prepared to 
write about themselves, Blacks were also 
usually overlooked by Whites recording com- 
munity news. 

But the will to pass on knowledge from one 
generation to the next was often strong, and 
persisted in Minnie Walker and others who 
welcomed the opportunity to share their mem- 
ories with investigators. Dozens of people 
were contacted and interviewed. Several 
individuals talked at length with researchers 
conducting separate studies, beginning with 
The History Group, which wrote an overview 
of all history in the area, and ending with 
Eleanor Ramsey, Patricia Turner, and Shirley 
Moore, who were concerned primarily with 
Black history. 

Conversations usually occurred where the 
people lived, although sometimes site visits 
were made to stir recollections about specific 
places like Millwood. Ramsey and her re- 
searchers scoured local newspaper archives 
and other publications beforehand to find some 
topics for discussion; they further jarred 
memories by showing the residents old photo- 
graphs, steadily accumulated by copying those 
owned by the people they interviewed. 

The exchanges between researchers and 
their subjects were far reaching, depending on 
each person's experiences, but life's universal 
themes of family, work, education, recreation, 
religion, and friendships were recurring sub- 
jects. There were also issues pertaining to 
specific events in the two counties, some 
controversial and still unresolved decades 


Figure 189: Kleanor Mason Ramsey interviewed four generations of the Davis family, life-long residents of Klbert 
County, (Jeorgia. Randolph Davis, 110 years old at the time, sits beside her. 

later. For many, coaxing cotton out of the 
earth was one of their earliest memories be- 
cause they had come from mostly poor fami- 
lies in which everyone worked, including 

The land they farmed rarely belonged to 
them, but was rented from White landlords 
who either took part of their crops as payment 
or cash. Both Minnie Walker's stepfather and 
husband paid with cotton to farm at Millwood, 
which Blacks called State Lands, shortened 
from Estate Lands. She remembered each of 
them giving a 400-pound bale to the overseer 
for Patrick Calhoun, James Edward's nephew 
who managed Millwood after the elder Cal- 
houn died. The cotton was first freed of seeds 
at the gin in Calhoun Falls: "Cotton buyers 
come in from somewhere and buy up the 
cotton. The gin man just had cotton stacked all 
around, all around. And this buyer come in 
and they put the cotton then on a freight train. 

Wasn't trucks and things to carry things like 
there is now," she said. 

Months of hard field labor often resulted in 
little financial reward, and even losses, be- 
cause the tenants couldn't repay landlords 
from their meager cotton profits for supplies 
they had borrowed. 

Phoebe Turman's family moved when she 
was 13 across the Savannah River from South 
Carolina to the southern section of Elbert 
County called Flatwoods. They were seeking 
better land, which they farmed as a "third 
patch." "You get a third of everything you 
make— potatoes, cotton , corn , everything. . . and 
then you settle up, and if there is anything left 
for you out of your third, then you gets that. 
You come out in debt every month," she 

Work in the mills after crops were planted 
and harvested helped many families, Black and 
White, survive. A few Black men operated 


ferries, but those jobs disappeared when 
bridges replaced the boats. 

Farm life, never an easy way to make a 
living, was made even more difficult by the 
years of over cultivating which had sorely 
depleted fertility. Charlotte Sweeney described 
the unyielding soil her father tilled near Cal- 
houn Falls: "He couldn't raise nothing on 
it... too poor to raise a fuss on, couldn't even 
raise a good argument on it!" 

Horses and mules were essential to farming 
in the days before tractors. How many animals 
were available to pull plows substantially 
determined how many acres were tilled be- 
cause the only alternative was breaking the 
soil by hand. The description "a one-horse 
farm" evoked a familiar picture of a small, 
family endeavor in the rural South. Randolph 
Davis, at 110 the oldest person interviewed, 
explained how much a single horse was worth: 
"I give Albert (Dye) a thousand pounds of 
cotton for one horse." 

Sometimes, despite having a good crop, 
Black farmers still failed to make a profit 
because of unscrupulous landlords. Randolph 
Davis recalled one who demanded all of his 
sharecroppers' cotton, rather 
than only a part: "...Made 
everybody on that place bring 
their cotton up there, about 
ten or 15 bales, and he took 
every bit of it. I had two 
bales of cotton. I didn't get a 
dime and I left. " 

A dishonest gin operator 
deliberately under weighing 
their cotton was another di- 
lemma sharecroppers some- 
times encountered, but farm- 
ers devised their own schemes 
to combat that kind of fraud. 
Explained Rufus Bullard: 
"You could weigh a bale of 
cotton there today and lay it 
out at night and take it to 
town tomorrow and it might Figurel90 . Townjobs 

gain five pounds due tO mois- ge t hired, they worked 

ture. Other people got money the best way 
they could. They commence to make cotton, 
sell it by the basketful to somebody else. . .keep 
[the gin operator] from it. " 

Against another obstacle, Bullard said that 
all farmers were equally disadvantaged. Infes- 
tation by the boll weevil meant mutual disas- 
ter: "And it was 19-1 think '21 or *22. I tell 
you, the weevils hit this country. We burned 
the crop squares to burn the grubs, keep the 
weevil from hatchin'...Well, they hit this 
country and everybody made a shorter 
crop... and the people went broke, all the 
merchants. . .they was looking for 45 cents [per 
pound] for cotton, no 50 cents, and everybody 
was holding their cotton. . .and it went down to 
five cents... and everybody just had to quit." 
Across the South, farmers, including many 
Blacks, deserted the land. The Bullards went 
to Chicago for five years where Rufus Bul- 
lard 's father worked for the railroad. 

The mass exodus concerned some influen- 
tial Whites, including the editor of The Elber- 
ton Star newspaper, who wrote on December 
15, 1922: "The fact that a great many colored 
laborers have left Elbert County is a serious 

were welcomed by struggling Black farmers. When they could 
in an Elberton tire factory, shown here, or at granite quarries. 


problem. They have gone north, east, and 
west. Many of them are worthy and have the 
respect of both races. Why have they gone? In 
some instances, it may be that the landowner 
could not or would not furnish rations. If he 
could furnish rations, it seems short sighted 
not to do so, for if the exodus continues where 
can the landowner expect to get laborers.'" 

Some landowners solved the labor dilemma 
by using Black convicts, including women, in 
a system rife with abuse. 

Efforts to keep the next generation of 
Blacks on the farm and in the South extended 
to some of Elberton's Black leaders, who in 
1925 organized a farm worker's club for boys. 
This move was endorsed by the county farm 
agent and the newspaper, which stated, Blacks 
"are making progress in the conduct of farm 
work along improved scientific and business 

Reverend Janie Hampton's father, who 

farmed Millwood property, was especially 
adept: "...really wasn't anything around the 
farm he couldn't do. He used to get farmers' 
magazines... He was just apt at learning 
things... He had an orchard... He had different 
kinds of peaches. He had red peaches, then he 
had a real sweet white peach. And then he had 
apricots, plums. He used to graft trees and 
make them grow, you know, mixed fruits." 

Another Calhoun tenant, Minnie Clark, 
described a pattern of mutual support among 
farmers that eased the burden of manual labor 
somewhat. One farmer might be experiencing 
trouble, she explained: "...say his cotton might 
get a little grassy. Now they worked together, 
take their whole family, and families get 
together and chop his cotton out. And the next 
day, they'd go to another [farm] and that's the 
way they worked." 

Among early Black property owners, the 
majority inherited land from White ancestors. 

Figure 191: I -ending and unloading luggage and cargo from (rains at the Calhoun Falls, South Carolina, train depot 
in 1920 was one of the low-paying jobs available to local Blacks. 


But not all. Hampton's father 
was among those who eventu- 
ally bought a farm, which 
caused him ill-will from 
Whites: "And then it had 
gotten around. People knew 
that he had bought. And they 
figured he was planning on 
building and they just would- 
n't be but so nice to you if 
they thought that you was 
trying to help yourself... They 
took more rent from you than 
you were supposed to pay... 
whatever they said you owed, 
you just had to pay it." 

Edward Brownlee recalled 
an episode involving Blacks 
and Whites that was markedly 
different than Hampton's 
experience. Gilbert Gray, he 
said, was buying a farm from 
the Verdells, who were White. They charged 
him $100 a year. On several occasions when 
Gray was unable to pay in full, they canceled 
what was due as paid. Gray ended up paying 
only about half the agreed-upon price of 
$1,000 to buy the land. 

Brownlee 's own parents farmed Elbert 
County land in the Heardmont community 
inherited from his great-grandfather, George 
Washington Dye. Dye was the White slave- 
holder who raised nine children with Brown- 
lee's great-grandmother, Lucinda, whom Dye 
bought as a slave. Brownlee, like so many 
Blacks, eventually left the South, but for an 
education, not a job; unlike many others, he 
eventually returned. He earned two masters 
degrees from Columbia University in New 
York then returned to Elbert County and 
taught public school until retirement. 

Despite the many physical and economic 
hardships Black families endured, providing an 
education for Black children was a driving 
ambition for many parents. Early Black 
schools were usually affiliated with churches 
and often represented financial sacrifices for 

Figure 192: Edward Brownlee, center, was a soldier during World War II. He is 
shown with Marie and Floread Norwood around 1943. 

students' parents, who sometimes supplement- 
ed teachers' pay to lengthen instruction past 
the allotted three months. Charlotte Sweeney's 
parents paid one dollar a month for her to 
continue studying with a tutor the rest of the 
year, while Grace Reynolds boarded with an 
aunt in Calhoun Falls so she could attend Mr. 
Lee's School, also called the Calhoun Falls 
Mission School. For most young Blacks, 
however, education ended with only abbreviat- 
ed primary schooling. 

Such a short school term was also a burden 
for Black teachers. Minnie Clark explained 
that teaching with a salary of $35 a month for 
only three months of the year was insufficient 
to pay her bills. She was forced to move to 
Atlanta to work as a maid for some years to 
support herself. 

Northern Presbyterians, who considered the 
South a missionary field, sought to rectify the 
education lapse by establishing a Black board- 
ing school in Abbeville in 1885, offering ten 
months instruction in primary and secondary 
grades. Their well-intentioned efforts, howev- 
er, led to unforeseen tragedy. Ferguson- Wil- 


Hams Academy, named for the 
school's founding ministers, 
eventually became Harbison 
College for Colored Youth 
when the ministers could no 
longer financially support the 
effort. Samuel P. Harbison of 
Pennsylvania, a wealthy White 
member of the Presbyterian's 
Board of Missions for Freed- 
men, bought 18 acres on Abbe- 
ville's outskirts, where the 
school was moved. He later 
donated 47 acres more, as well 
as cash to support the effort. 

Co-educational, the school 
offered liberal arts, and indus- 
trial and agricultural instruc- 
tion. Harbison wasn't a college 
in today's context, but a com- 
bined elementary and high 
school. Rules were flexible about paying 
tuition, with many students working on the 
school farm to help pay costs. 

Ursula Mae Haddon, who graduated in 
1909, remembered an understanding attitude 
among the administrators concerning the 
students' lack of funds: "...say you chipped 
in a dollar... it was in your reach... We all who 
attended the school liked it. We were proud of 
it; we were glad to get to school. Maybe our 
parents didn't have the opportunity. I'm sure 
mine didn't. I had the opportunity. I tried to 
avail myself." 

Operated apparently uneventfully for ten 
years by a Black Northern minister, Reverend 
Thomas A. Amos, and an all-Black faculty, 
the school somehow got caught up in the fears 
and hatred many Whites still harbored towards 
Blacks. Harbison College became the focus of 
controversy that ended with Amos' resigna- 
tion. In a front-page article in Vie Abbeville 
Press and Banner, Amos cited jealousy from 
his predecessors' friends over his success as 
the cause of damaging rumors circulating in 
the White community. One rumor named him 
as an organizer of Black labor resistance; 

Kigure 193: Harbison College, shown around 1X90, was built by FVeshyterians for 
Blacks. A wealthy Pennsylvanian donated the land outside Abbeville. 

another claimed that the Black students were 
armed. Vehemently denying both reports, 
Amos added: "I have positively done nothing 
to merit the ill will of the White people and I 
would not be able today to name a single 
White man in the town or in the country to 
whom I could feel justified in feeling unkind- 

Soon after, the school closed for some 
months, and the newspaper announced the 
appointment of anew principal, C. M. Young: 
"The agitation of the race question has awak- 
ened and intensified the race prejudice which 
seemed dormant or which had not until recent- 
ly come to the surface in a pronounced form. 
The president of the Harbison college is a 
native born negro, and one who seems to be 
acceptable to a majority of our people... His 
predecessor was a Northern negro, who was 
objectionable to some of our people." 

The maelstrom surrounding the school, 
however, didn't subside, and when a fire 
destroyed one of the buildings in January, 
1907, the principal wrote a newspaper letter 
quelling talk that arson was involved. Rather, 
he wrote, a defective flue and wood stove 


were at fault. 

But a later blaze was indisputably deliber- 
ate. An arsonist set two fires at the school on 
March 17, 1910. The fire killed three boys 
and severely injured several other students and 
a teacher. Minnie Clark, a student at the time, 
witnessed the blaze: "I was there when the 
building caught fire... it's a good thing I had 
my pack on... like to got burned up." 

The next day, a mass rally was held in 
Abbeville to condemn the arsonist and to raise 
a $300 reward for his capture. Despite the 
show of White support, the school closed 
permanently and the board of directors began 
searching for another community where they 
could start over. Prominent, White Abbeville 
citizens circulated a petition urging that the 
school stay, but the directors declined, ex- 
plaining that with the arsonist still at large the 
risk was too great for the students. No arrest 
was ever made. 

The school reopened in 1911 in Irmo, 
South Carolina, as a male-only agricultural 
institution that operated until 1958. 

Nor did Elberton escape racial tension 
stirring throughout the South. From 1922 
until 1925, the city's newspaper printed 
stories and advertisements announcing Ku 
Klux Klan marches, movies, and rallies, one 
featuring the Elberton Municipal Band. The 
paper also printed an article about lynchings 
in the South, using statistics compiled by the 
Black Tuskegee Institute, which counted more 
than 70 hangings of Blacks in three years. 
The hangings were provoked by such actions 
as "trying to act like a White man and not 
knowing his place." 

Religion was a solace during these troubled 
times, and also a comfort during better days. 
Black churches provided a strong sense of 
community where everyone was welcome, 
even when no building existed for services. 
Phoebe Turman recalled: "I used to hear the 
older heads [people] say they would have a 
place to go to serve the Lord... sing and 
pray... it was a big, old oak tree... big, old, 
nice, shady oak tree. . .that was their church. ..." 

And after they built churches, traveling to 
services in caravans helped forge friendships. 
The long rides were memorable events for 
Lillie Pressley: "Now I remember, all along 
in those days... you go to church in the wag- 
ons... Now, we took those mules and hitch 
them to the wagon... and went to church that 
way. It was fun in those days... Sometimes it'd 
be two and three wagon loads of people in the 
road... All right on up the road the other 
wagons join those wagons, and that's the way 
we went to church. We had about five miles to 
go to church." 

Parents instilled the importance of religion 
in their children in many ways. Children were 
honored by churches with their own day every 
year, an especially fond memory for Lillie 
Pressley: "All the children [would] be dressed 
in their little new suits and things... and they 
had a trunk full of food. We, all the children, 

Figure 194: An unidentified girl in Elberton was photographed 
around 1918. Traveling photographers, called drummers, went 
from town to town, set up shop, then moved on. 


Figure 195: I <>n« ll.i Walker holds her father's fiddle. He taught himself to play on an old sardine box he made into his 
first instrument. He often entertained at festive "hot suppers". 

had to speak and sing. And they just had a big 
program all that day, just the children." 

Edward Brownlee's father told him of a 
similar experience: "They would go in one- 
horse wagons and most times they would be 
pulled by oxen or they would ride on the 
oxen's back. They'd cook trunks of food so 
that the kids would just have all kinds of 

Building a community spirit and nurturing 
friendships— and sometimes romance— were 
further accomplished in social gatherings 
called hot suppers. These were evening cele- 
brations popular in the late 1800's and early 
1900's during cooler months. Women and 
older girls cooked their best dishes for the 
occasions, items which they sold for small 
sums during the breaks between lively dancing 
to the music of fiddles and guitars. Some- 
times, males were required to buy some tidbit 
of food for their dancing partners. But for 

Minnie Walker, food wasn't the main attrac- 
tion at the hot suppers, dancing was: "Me and 
my sister [would] be down there dancing! 
Sometime momma went to the store and 
bought us some shoes, [we] went right round 
there and danced. Went back home with holes 
in 'em. Lord, if momma didn't get us. We 
used to dance and everybody wanted to dance 
with me and my sister." 

Often playing the fiddle was Louella Walk- 
er's father who made his own first instrument. 
One of his later fiddles was among Louella 
Walker's most prized possessions years later: 
"...he always said he made his first fiddle out 
of a sardine box.... He learned to play him- 
self. ...He just made his fiddle out of a sardine 
box and took his thread and made him a 

A more somber topic also received atten- 
tion in the interviews. In the mid-1800's, 
death posed a significant financial burden for 


poor Blacks, a burden they wished to spare 
survivors, so they organized burial societies, 
which continued well into the 1900' s. Mem- 
bers' only obligation was to pay 25 to 35 cents 
monthly into the treasury. 

Janesta McKinney, a Black funeral home 
proprietor in Elberton, explained that when a 
member died: "...they were entitled to about 
the poorest burial you could get... the family 
would add a little more to make it more pre- 
sentable. " 

Membership in such societies wasn't for 
everyone, however. Henry Mclntire's mother 
didn't join one, but she did provide for her 
funeral: "...she saved just enough to bury 
herself... she didn't want us cry in' two 
ways— cryin' when she gone, and cryin' with 
the way she got put away," he explained. 

Although a financial burden for many, 
death gave some Blacks opportunities to better 
their lot. For example, Janesta McKinney 's 
father-in-law, Reverend Addison Reynolds 
McKinney, was one of the first Blacks to start 
his own business in Elberton in about 1910. 
Working in the granite quarry, he saw a 
pressing need for a funeral home for Blacks. 
As Janesta McKinney 
explained: "They [White 
funeral directors] buried 
you at night. . .you had no 
preference... that's why 
they opened it [the Black 
funeral home] up... for 
convenience of Black 
people. And I think they 
were very reasonable 
'cause a long time ago 
people didn't have any 
money. And they [her 
father-in-law's business] 
would open accounts for 
you and you pay by the 

McKinney's first 
hearse was drawn by 
horses, which probably 
belonged to his Black 

partner, John Rucker, who was also a black- 

Addison McKinney pursued other ventures 
as well, running a grocery store and a restau- 
rant, which was necessary, explained Janesta 
McKinney because: "Really wasn't too much 
you could make doing one thing, you know." 

Tobe Wells, however, managed to become 
successful with only one enterprise. He had 
learned how to operate a saw mill as a boy of 
15 by watching others. Eventually, a White 
lumber mill operator gave him a portable saw 
mill outright because he was pleased with 
Wells' skill with the equipment. Wells recalled 
his benefactor's exact words of some 40 years 
before that had changed his own life dramati- 
cally: "'Go ahead. You can move it [the saw 
mill] anywhere you want. It's all yours. Do 
anything you want to do with it. ' " 

Wells tramsported his mill wherever he 
could find lumber to cut, primarily in Elbert 
County, but also in Abbeville County and 
other places. For awhile, after World War II, 
there was enough demand for lumber for 
Wells to hire a crew of 22 Black men, many 
of them war veterans, and to pay them 50 

Figure 196: Tobe Wells made a split-oak basket for investigators, demonstrating a fading 
craft once commonly practiced in the region. 


cents an hour, ten cents more than the going 

He had learned early in life by helping his 
father sharecrop in Lincoln County, Georgia, 
that little profit could be made farming, and 
despite only a fifth grade education he 
achieved financial independence: "I learned 
by experience, workin', talkin' to different 
people, goin' here— I go some of every- 
where—anything goin' on, I go." 

Wells mastered making split oak baskets the 
same way, by watching and trying, and he was 
willing to pass on his knowledge to others. 
Representatives from the U. S. Army Corps of 
Engineers Savannah District spent a day video 
taping Wells demonstrating basket weaving, 
once a common practical skill that has become 
a vanishing craft. 

Like Tobe Wells, who enjoyed a monopoly 
with his saw mill for awhile, two Black men 
for a time were the only barbers in early 
Calhoun Falls, South Carolina. Oliver Mcln- 
tire operated a shop for Blacks in a section 
called Buck Nellie, while Spearman Edwards 
Reynolds chose to serve only Whites so that 
he would be acceptable to them. This restric- 
tion excluded even his own family, according 
to his wife Grace Reynolds, who told re- 
searchers: "... he thought he could make more 
[by cutting only Whites' hair].... He wouldn't 
even cut his childrens 1 hair!" 

Segregation touched nearly every aspect of 
Black life and persisted in the South for many 
years. The many inequities people suffered 
because of their color still stung years later. 
Henry Mclntire recalled working for about six 
dollars a week at the cotton mill in Calhoun 
Falls: "...we [Black employees] couldn't go 
up there to that drinking fountain and drink no 
water... we had to first get a bottle and go 
downstairs. We couldn't even go to the bath- 
room up there." 

Yet, amazing for the time, intimately serv- 
ing both races was tacitly sanctioned for 
another Black, Dr. James Thompson. He was 
born in 1873, the son of Lloyd Thompson, a 
former slave who owned land in Elbert Coun- 

ty. The younger Thompson attended Brown 
University in Rhode Island and Shaw Univer- 
sity Medical School in North Carolina before 
establishing his practice in the Elberton bank 
building where White doctors also had offices. 

While he was accepted as a physician by 
many White patients, Thompson courted the 
enmity of other Whites by fighting for equal 
rights for members of his race. Before he left 
for college, in one example, he stole the 
answer sheet to an examination that Whites 
were using to impede Black students, Edward 
Brownlee told Russell investigators. Thomp- 
son, who was never caught, shared the an- 
swers with other Blacks, and their scores rose 

Another of Thompson's acts later set him at 
odds with White landowners. As a physician, 
he apparently refused to endorse insurance 
policies authorizing landowners to collect 
money for incapacitated Black tenant farmers, 
which Thompson considered a continuation of 
viewing Blacks as property. His refusal effec- 
tively ended the payoffs, but his resistance 
apparently marked Thompson as a trouble- 
maker to some. Still, others continued to 
prefer him to White physicians, and his mixed 
practice flourished. 

The doctor's violent death still remained a 
sensitive topic in the Black community 60 
years later, interviewers found. Thompson was 
shot in the chest by a White doctor in 1915. 
The man who killed him, Dr. A. S. Oliver, 
was arrested and tried for murder. Oliver, 
whom The Elberton Star said appeared to have 
been drinking the day of the killing, claimed 
that the shooting was accidental. He said that 
Thompson was considering buying some of his 
equipment because Oliver was retiring, and 
that among the items was the gun. The weap- 
on, he said, discharged by accident, striking 
Thompson, who died soon after. 

There were no other witnesses, and on the 
strength of Oliver's testimony the jury re- 
turned a not-guilty verdict after less than an 
hour. Calling the doctor's death tragic, the 
newspaper described Thompson "as one of the 


Figure 197: Black midwives were trained using dolls in 1950. 

most prominent men of his race in Elbert 
County. He was generally regarded as a 
leader... and was accumulating money. He 
owned considerable property...." 

Medical care provided by Blacks wasn't 
restricted to Thompson and other doctors. 
Black women served as midwives, an occupa- 
tion that drew Annie Mclntire and Minnie 
Walker. Walker first became interested in 
helping deliver babies when she worked as a 
housekeeper in a hospital: "...See, I was 
always a person who wanted to know 
things.... I got books and I studied books," she 

Caring for one another was also a function 
of Black social clubs. The Good Samaritans, 
Eastern Star, Masons, and Odd Fellows 
claimed hundreds of members, and their 
meetings and socials strengthened ties and nur- 

tured leaders. For some clubs, an annual 
march and celebration was the major event of 
the year that rallied members in a show of 
unity. Lillie Pressley: "...they had big turn- 
outs, you know.... Just like they're going to 
have a turn out at, say, at Mt. Calvary. 
They'd march from here to Mt. Calvary. All 
would be dressed in black suits and white 
shirts, and white gloves. " 

But as things slowly improved financially 
and racially for Blacks, the importance of such 
organizations gradually declined. Lillie Pres- 
sley remembered the heyday of social clubs 
when they were instrumental to the welfare of 
so many : "...they help people when they're 
sick and things like that. But just like I'm 
saying, it's not as strong as it once had 
been.... Back yonder, when times were hard, 
they were a lot stronger. " 

Figure 198: Peter Bertoni, wearing a derby, stands with his young son Tom before the Klberton Granite and Marble 
Works in 1903. Bertoni helped start the granite industry, which still exists. 


Chapter 21: A Binding Thread 

1930 to Present 

In some ways, the actions of human beings 
haven't changed all that much over the thou- 
sands of years studied in the Russell research. 
People still cast their lines into the Savannah 
River to catch fish for cooking over an eve- 
ning campfire. And farmers still optimistically 
plow the soil nearby, plant seeds, and trust the 
sun and rain will do their parts to make the 
harvest a good one. Even turning stone into 
useful objects continues all these centuries 
after Paleolndians chipped rock into spear- 
points in the Ice Age. 

Such pursuits shared over countless life- 
times form a binding thread in this story of a 
region, and in a larger sense, in the story of 
people everywhere. By focusing intently on 
residents and landscapes in four Southern 
counties, researchers have provided a portrait 
with features shared by other people in other 
regions. Although much of the information 
uncovered applies only to the places described, 
enough is universal to provide insights about 
our common human past. 

Today, more than at any other time in its 
long history, the reservoir area and its people 
are so closely stitched into the collective 
national fabric that many unique characteristics 
have grown far less discernible. Just as mod- 
ern transportation, television, and other tech- 
nologies, for all their benefits, have dulled the 
distinctive flavor of communities across the 
United States, they have had the same impact 
along the Savannah River. This loss of a 
strong sense of place makes the efforts of so 
many to document what came before all the 
more worthwhile because they have preserved 
a fast- fading part of our national legacy. 

Some factors of change in the region, 
however, aren't as broad based, particularly 
the dramatic shifts resulting from the decline 
of cotton. The national economic depression, 

the relentless assault of the boll weevil, and 
widespread soil erosion from disastrous farm- 
ing practices were some of the causes for 
families to give up land they and their fore- 
bears had tilled for so long. But progress also 
played a role in displacing people from the 
land, progress in the form of machinery capa- 
ble of work that once took many hands to 
perform. A similar pattern took shape through- 
out the South. From 1950 to 1978, for exam- 
ple, the number of agricultural jobs in the 
South declined by more than half, according to 
historian Charles P. Roland. 

Yet, farming by no means stopped in the 
region. Rather, profits soared from some 
crops and livestock that took the place of 
cotton in a new diversified approach to agri- 
culture. But gradually, more and more land 
fell into fewer hands as agribusiness, with all 
the vast acreage and sleek machinery that the 
term implies, replaced small family farms. 
Statistics show the scope of the transformation. 
In 1930, there were 16,605 farmers in Elbert, 
Hart, Abbeville, and Anderson Counties. By 
1974, there were only 2,725 left, a drop of 83 
percent. During the same time span, Abbeville 
County lost 85 percent of its farms, while 
farms 99 acres and larger increased from 18.2 
percent to 63.2 percent of all farms. 

Tenant farmers who comprised so much of 
the area's population were affected most by 
the change from small farms to big ones. 
Looking again at 1930, there were 12,466 
tenant farmers in the four counties then, 
compared to just 127 in 1974, a drop of 99 

Rufus Bullard watched as a way of life 
came to an end. "I tell you, and this comes 
down to facts: Farming had sort of played 
out, was on its way out... in the 1940' s. It was 
on its way out. You know, people was quitting 


Figure 199: Katherine and Bandon Hutchison demonstrated how to make a broom with 
straw they collected in their fields. They continued farming long after many of their 
neighbors quit. 

like they doing, and there wasn't too much 
farming. It was going to grass and cattle and 
stuff.... Yeah, farming was on the downswing. 
And it ain't picked up. It's just continued 
going out. You see, I'll tell you what really 
happened: [the government] paid the landown- 
ers so much money to get out of produc- 
tion—cotton and such stuff— that the tenant 
farmer didn't have anything to go on.... We 
had lots of people who hung around their 
houses [on tenant farms] for a long time. But, 
you know, they finally had to get out and find 

But if the decline of cotton farming hurt 
many, the land often benefitted. The ugly 
scars of eroded gullies that formed when top 
soil grew exhausted and washed away gradual- 
ly healed. Trees and undergrowth, especially 
the amazingly profuse kudzu vine, sprouted 
across former fields and homesites, eventually 
covering them so completely that some places 
became unrecognizable, even to former resi- 

Grains often replaced cotton as the domi- 
nant crops for those who remained on the land 

or took over from others. Wide- scale tree 
farming also developed. Much of Millwood 
Plantation, for example, was planted in trees 
for use in paper manufacturing after a subsid- 
iary of Duke Power Company bought the land. 
Adjoining acreage and thousands of acres 
more in Elbert and McCormick Counties, 
which belonged to Mead Paper Company, 
were used for the same purpose. Raising 
poultry was another successful alternative 
pursued by some. 

But for the thousands who left farming, 
other jobs, and often other homes, had to be 
found. For many, leaving the region altogether 
to seek work in major cities provided the 
solution, while others managed to get jobs in 
industries nearby. Some, however, were not 
so successful and became unemployed. 

The mainstay for some former farmers, 
ironically, once more came out of the ground. 
An abundance of granite in Elbert County 
fostered a thriving industry. The first known 
stonemasonry occurred in the county in the 
1850's with the production of granite tomb- 
stones. Quarrying and refining the mineral 


steadily increased as the market for granite 
grew. Weather-resistant and pleasing to the 
eye, the stone earned Elberton the reputation 
as "the granite capital of the world"; that title 
is proudly displayed in bold letters on a sign 
downtown over a display of monuments. 

This is how one resident, Carroll Mary 
Hudson, recalled the early years of the granite 
industry: "By 1920, they had three or four 
rock sheds in Elberton.... The first little place 
where they cut granite was up on the side of 
the railroad, up just above the Seaboard Rail 
Line.... A little place in there because they 
were afraid of the dust, you know. They 
wouldn't go in the shed, they would cut it in 
the outside there.... They wouldn't wear a 
mask or anything, no way to protect them- 
selves. . . .That' s really what made Elberton; we 
didn't have anything here. There wasn't too 
much cotton, since we would have bad crops 

some years and that put it back. Good business 
in general we didn't have until the granite 
business come here. The granite industry is 
just what makes this county." 

Using granite foundations for farm houses 
and outbuildings and constructing chimneys 
with a combination of granite and brick, be- 
came common in the area in the nineteenth 
century. Later, entire houses were made of 
granite, as well as the facades of businesses. 
Granite monuments for parks and signs also 
became popular. 

By 1977, three or four rock sheds had 
grown to 125 companies for granite produc- 
tion. The Elberton Granite Association esti- 
mated that those businesses employed about 40 
percent of the non-farming population of the 
region. By 1975, the value of the thousands of 
tons of stone these workers produced was 
$3,662,000. Grave markers continued to be 

Figure 200: The Hutchisons had many colorful quilts among the family heirlooms in their historical 
old house. Like many crafts, making quilts by hand has declined over the years. 

Figure 201: Forcing granite from the quarries in Flbert County gave new economic 
health to the area. 

the dominant commodity, accounting for 90 
percent of the production. 

Jumps in industrial employment also came 
in the other three counties studied. In Abbe- 
ville County, the number of manufacturing 
jobs increased from 20 to 60 percent of all 
jobs between the late 1940's and the 1970's, 
while in Hart County, the 
figure was even more startling: 
from less than ten percent to 
nearly 50 percent. Anderson 
County fared best of all, per- 
haps because its economy 
industrialized earlier than the 
others. In the late 1970's, the 
labor force in Anderson Coun- 
ty was more than twice the 
size of the workforce in the 
other three counties combined. 
First textiles, then other manu- 
facturing solidified the coun- 
ty's economic base. 

With the start of construc- 
tion in 1976 of the Richard B. 
Russell Dam, life changed 
quickly and dramatically in 

some parts of all four coun- 
ties. The Federal Government 
bought 52,000 acres along a 
28-mile portion of the river 
and its tributaries. Eventually, 
26,650 of those acres would 
be under water. Farmers and 
others in the path of the new 
Russell Lake that would form 
when the floodgates closed 
had to move, along with those 
occupying other land designat- 
ed for road and railroad relo- 
cations and recreational areas. 
Among the most dramatic 
relocations was the water 
transport of Blackwell Bridge. 
From its location over Beav- 
erdam Creek in the southern 
part of the reservoir, the 
bridge was to be moved to 
Cold water State Park, which was created as a 
result of the dam. The Corps of Engineers 
managed the unusual feat with help from two 
U. S. Army combat engineer battalions from 
Fort Stewart. The soldiers participated as part 
of a training exercise. 

Engineers had deemed Blackwell Bridge 


Figure 202: Flberton, "(iranite (a pita I of the World' 
monuments on Main Street downtown. 

displays k>cally-made 


Figure 203: Blackwell Bridge was moved by water as an unusual training exercise for soldiers assisting the V. S. Army 
Corps of Engineers Savannah District. 

worth saving because of its distinctive archi- 
tectural value. Built around 1917, the bridge 
has a single span design and important features 
of the "American System" of pin connections. 
As a result of its significance, Blackwell 
Bridge was placed on the National Register of 
Historic Places. 

Moving the bridge without any damage 
presented a rare engineering challenge. Crews 
first carefully measured its dimensions, then 
considered various transportation alternatives. 
After much deliberation, experts decided to 
dismantle part of the bridge deck and attach 
flotation devices to the main structure because 
that was likely to cause the least stress on the 

Guiding the bridge up water to its new spot 
was scheduled to coincide with and take ad- 
vantage of the rising of the new Lake Russell 

in late August and early September 1984. 

After attaching steel dredging pontoons and 
styrofoam floats beneath the bridge, workers 
detached the entire structure from its granite 
abutments. Then Blackwell Bridge was ready 
to go for a ride. Soldiers towed the floating 
bridge behind new jet exhaust bridge boats, 
which were receiving one of their first perfor- 
mance tests. 

When the remarkable convoy reached 
Coldwater State Park, 20-ton cranes took over, 
hoisting the bridge out of the water and into 
its new resting place over a stream in a seclud- 
ed cove. A new deck was built, and Blackwell 
Bridge was ready to serve exclusively as a 
foot crossing for visitors passing along a 
hiking trail. 

Regrettably, people sometimes were less 
favorably affected by the changes the new dam 


Recreation Areas 
Boat Ramps (Open) 
Boat Ramps (Future) 
Fishing Piers (Open) 
Fishing Piers (Future) 
Beach Areas (Future) 


Dam Overlook 

Clark? Hill Lake 

Map 32: Six public parks now dot the landscape of the Richard B. Russell Recreation Area. 


Figure 204: The Richard B. Russell Dam construction was illuminated at night 

brought. Speaking about the loss of his fami- 
ly's homeplace, the Alexander-Cleveland 
Farm, Windell Cleveland explained how pain- 
ful the experience was: "It's not takin' your 
life, but in other words, it's the same as takin' 
your life— takin 1 something you've worked for 
years to build up.... Land is precious, I tell 
you, people just don't realize what it means." 

Today, the Richard B. Russell Dam reaches 
wide and high across the Savannah River, 
capturing, using, and controlling its powerful 
flow as the water generates hydroelectric 
power for the surrounding area. The barrier is 
a human accomplishment that would have 
stunned observers not so long ago who knew 
the river when little could be done to avoid its 
floods except to get out of the way. 

On clear days, the big lake on the dam's 
north side looks blue and inviting; and, as 
expected, many come from both sides of the 
river to enjoy swimming, boating, and fishing 

in its cool, deep waters. The landscape is now 
protected by the Corps of Engineers, who 
work to preserve a wildlife habitat and to 
safeguard the environment, including thou- 
sands of trees. There are many public spots 
for recreation, including three state parks, one 
named Calhoun Falls, and another called 
McCalla State Park, commemorating two 
names long prominent in the area. 

But as time passes, fewer and fewer visitors 
will recall the buildings and other landmarks 
that once existed beneath these waters. And 
fewer still will remember the old tales of 
Indians and conquistadors, pioneers and 
slaves, revolutionaries and farmers, who once 
spent time by the water's edge. 

Camping in parks along the lake shore is 
popular, and when night falls, people gather 
around fires that send sparks flying into the 
darkness, just as other distant fires did so long 






































- 2000 BC 


- 3000 BC 

5600 . 

• 3500 BC 


- 4000 BC 

7500 • 

■ 5500 BC 


- 6000 BC 


- 6750 BC 


- 7500 BC 

9900 - 

7900 BC 

10BO0 i 

- 8500 BC 

I | 

- 9000 BC 

11500 - 

moo no 












Area minimally settled? 

Local. extraJocaJ liihic 
materials in um 

SlaJbnp pottery 

Soapslone vessels 

Extensive un 
of nunni ion* 

Perforated soapstone tlabt 

Structures with associated 
activity areas 

Metavolcanics, quaru 

Quaru dominate* 


Expedient Iithic 


Residential^ mobile 


Mctavolcanici common 

Local, cxtralocal blhic 
raw matcnali in u»o 

Mixed forager collector 



Highly curated technology 

Extralocal Iithic raw 
materials predominate 

Geographically extensive, 
mobile foragers 




t •'Located' elsewhere in 

Savannah River Valley 

Rucker s Bottom 

McCaJla Bottoms 

Gregg Shoals 
Stalling s Island* 

Sara s Ridge 

Pans Island South 

Rocky Riv»r 

Lake Spring* 
Cregg Shoals I 

Pen Point* 

Gregg Shoals 
Rucker s Bottom 
McCalla Bottoms 


Gregg Shoals 

Clyde Gullcy 
Rucker i Bottom 
C.S. Lewis East* 

Clyde Gulley 
Simpson's Field 
Rucker t Bottom 

Figure 205: A timeline from Paleolndians to the contemporary period shows the cultural sequences in the study area. 






































■ AD 1985 


- AD 1890 


- AD1866 


- AD 1810 


- AD 1540 


- AD 1450 


- AD 1300 


. AD 1150 


- AD 900 

15O0 - 

- AD 500 

2300 . 
■ 3000 

- 300 BC 

- 1000 BC 
















Civil War 


Historic Indian groups 
(no data) 

Depopulation, abandonmeni 
of central, lower drainage 

Large and small villages 

Intensive agriculture 

Platform mounds 

Earth embanked lodges 

Small villages 

Small villages 

Quartz predominates 

Occasional use 
of shellfish 

Minor occupations 

Area minimally settled? 




(•Located elsewhere in 
Savannah River Valley) 




Pearle Mill 








Fort Independence 


Rcmbert Mounds* 

Rucker's Bottom 

Simpson's Field 


Beavcrdam Creek 
Rucker's Bottom 

Clyde Gulley 

Simpson's Field 
Rucker's Bottom 
Harper's Bottom 


G.S. Lewis West* 

Big Generositee Creek 

Sara's Ridge 





1. Richard B. Russell Dam, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 1 

2. Black tea ceremony, Smithsonian Institution. 3 

3. Fence, Pictures of Record. 4 

4. Rucker's Bottom, Prehistoric Human Ecology Along the Upper Savannah River : Excavations at 

the Rucker's Bottom, Abbeville and Bullard Site Groups. 6 

5. Rucker's Bottom aerial view, Ibid. 7 

6. Workers using screen, Russell Papers, Moundville, Alabama. 10 

7. Clovis spearpoints, Paleolndian Period Archaeology of Georgia. 12 

8. Making a spearpoint, Southeastern Archeological Services, Inc. 14 

9. Dalton points, Paleolndian Period Archaeology of Georgia. 16 

10. Savannah River tributary, Russell Papers, Moundville, Alabama. 19 

11. Surface collecting, Ibid. 20 

12. Taking soil samples, Prehistoric Human Ecology , etc. 22 

13. Early Archaic hearth, The Gregg Shoals and Clyde Gully Sites. 23 

14. Palmer points, Ibid. 24 

15. Boom buckets, Ibid. 25 

16. Graver, The Magnet Site: A Late Paleoindian Site in Southcentral Indiana. 26 

17. Scraper, The Gregg Shoals and Clyde Gully Sites. 26 

18. Bifurcate point, Notebook , University of South Carolina. 28 

19. Rucker's Bottom, Prehistoric Human Ecology, etc. 28 

20. Plastic protecting Gregg Shoals site, Russell Papers, Moundville, Alabama. 31 

21. Stanly Stemmed point, The Report of the Intensive Survey of the Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake, 
Savannah River, Georgia and South Carolina. 32 

22. Morrow Mountain points, Prehistory and History Along the Upper Savannah River. Vol. I. 33 

23. Gregg Shoals main block, The Gregg Shoals and Clyde Gully Sites. 34 

24. Uniface tools, Ibid. 35 

25. Atlatl thrower, Julie Barnes Smith, artist. 36 

26. Guilford point, The Formative Cultures of the Carolina Piedmont . 37 

27. Sara's Ridge, Martin Pate, artist. 41 

28. Sara's Ridge site plan, Prehistory in the Richard B. Russell Reservoir, the Archaic and Woodland 
Periods of the Upper Savannah River. 43 

29. Screening in a ditch, Ibid. 44 

30. Soapstone slabs, Prehistory and History Along the Upper Savannah River. Vol. I. 47 

31. Abraders, Prehistory in the Richard B. Russell Reservoir, the Archaic and Woodland Periods of 

the Upper Savannah River . 49 

32. Drills, David Anderson. 49 

33. Rocky River site plan, Prehistoric Human Ecology, etc. 50 

34. Rocky River site, Ibid. 51 

35. McCalla Bottoms site, Ibid. 54 

36. Stallings pottery, Prehistory and History Along the Upper Savannah River. Vol. I. 55 

37. Soapstone bowl, The Gregg Shoals and Clyde Gully Sites. 56 

38. Savannah River point, The Report of the Intensive Survey of the Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake. 
Savannah River, Georgia and South Carolina . 60 

39. Ax, Prehistoric Human Ecology, etc. 60 

40. Archaic points, Ibid. 61 

41. Deer, Georgia Department of Industry and Trade. 62 

42. Yadkin Triangular points, Prehistory and History Along the Upper Savannah River. Vol. I. 64 


43. Earth oven, Prehistory in the Richard B. Russell Reservoir, the Archaic and Woodland Periods 

of the Upper Savannah River. 65 

44. Simpson's Field site plan, Ibid. 66 

45. Platform pipe, The Tunacunnhee Site: Hopewell in Northwest Georgia. 67 

46. Potsherds, Prehistory in the Richard B. Russell Reservoir, the Archaic and Woodland Periods of 

the Upper Savannah River. 70 

47. Tetrapod, Archaeological Survey of Northern Georgia. 72 

48. Rucker's Bottom site plan, Prehistoric Human Ecology, etc. 72 

49. Cartersville pottery, Prehistory and History Along the Upper Savannah River. Vol. I. 73 

50. Complicated stamped sherds, Prehistory in the Richard B. Russell Reservoir, the Archaic and 
Woodland Periods of the Upper Savannah River. 74 

51. Design elements, Ibid. 75 

52. Backhoe operations, The Gregg Shoals and Clyde Gully Sites. 77 

53. Ocmulgee earthlodge, William Bake, photographer, National Park Service. 78 

54. Nested triangle designs, Archaeological Investigations at the Beaverdam Creek Site (9EB85) 

Elbert County. Georgia . 81 

55. Duck head effigies, The Gregg Shoals and Clyde Gully Sites. 81 

56. Beaverdam Creek Mound site plan, Archaeological Investigations at the Beaverdam Creek Site 
(9EB85) Elbert County. Georgia. 82 

57. Earthlodge plan, Ibid. 83 

58. Ocmulgee earthlodge, Georgia Department of Industry and Trade. 84 

59. Postmolds, Archaeolgical Investigations at the Beaverdam Creek Site (9EB85) Elbert County, 
Georgia. 85 

60. Burial artifacts, Ibid. 86 

61. Earthlodge burial drawing, Ibid. 87 

62. Headpiece, Ibid. 88 

63. Earthlodge burial, Ibid. 89 

64. Mississippian mound, Randy Hill, artist, South Carolina Wildlife. 90 

65. Beaverdam Creek Mound, Archaeological Investigations at the Beaverdam Creek Site (9EB85) Elbert 
County. Georgia. 92 

66. Awls, Ibid. 93 

67. Burial artifacts, Ibid. 94 

68. Structure B drawing, Ibid. 95 

69. Pottery shapes and designs, Ibid. 97 

70. Pipes, Ibid. 98 

71. Shell gorget, Georgia Department of Industry and Trade. 99 

72. Beaverdam Creek Mound site pots, Archaeological Investigations at the Beaverdam Creek Site 
(9EB85) Elbert County. Georgia. 100 

73. Beaverdam Creek Mound excavation, Ibid. 101 

74. Mississippian house interior, Pictures of Record. 102 

75. Rucker's Bottom site, Martin Pate, artist. 105 

76. Rucker's Bottom site drawing, Prehistoric Human Ecology, etc. 107 

77. Rucker's Bottom site, Ibid. 109 

78. Rucker's Bottom site plan, Ibid. 11° 

79. Chunky stones, Archaeological Investigations at the Beaverdam Creek Site (9EB85) Elbert 

County. Georgia. m 

80. Plaza pits, Prehistoric Human Ecology, etc. 1 1 1 

81. Square ground, Julie Barnes Smith, artist. 112 

82. Mississippian house reconstruction, Georgia Department of Industry and Trade. 1 13 

83. rp.ramir. rim treatments. Prehistoric Human Ecology, etc. 115 

84. Rucker's Bottom site drawing, Ibid. 1 16 

85. Miniature pots, Prehistory in the Richard B. Russell Reservoir, the Archaic and Woodland Periods 
of the Upper Savannah River. 

86. Burial urn, Ibid. 


87. Communal burial. Prehistoric Human Ecology, etc. 119 

88. Mississippian pot, The Gregg Shoals and Clyde Gully Sites. 120 

89. Mississippian ceramic designs, Prehistoric Human Ecology, etc. 121 

90. Mississippian ceramics, Ibid. 123 

91. Etowah Mound, Georgia Department of Industry and Trade. 124 

92. Etowah "Falcon Warrior'' drawing, Twelfth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology . 126 

93. Etowah "Falcon Warrior," Smithsonian Institution. 127 

94. Etowah marble statues, Georgia Department of Industry and Trade. 128 

95. Hernando de Soto, National Park Service. 130 

96. Mississippian points, Prehistoric Human Ecology, etc. 133 

97. Unidentified family, Historical Investigations of the Richard B. Russell Multiple Resource Area. 137 

98. Charleston, South Carolina, Charleston Chamber of Commerce. 138 

99. Dock Street Theater, Charleston, South Carolina, Ibid. 141 

100. Indian village, Twelfth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. 142 

101. Glass stems, Fort Independence, an Eighteenth-Century Frontier Homesite and Militia Post in 

South Carolina. 144 

102. Indian village, Twelfth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. 147 

103. James Edward Oglethorpe, Georgia Department of Archives and History. 148 

104. William Bartram drawing, Travels of William Bartram , Dover Publications, Inc. 151 

105. Charleston battery, Charleston, South Carolina, Charleston Chamber of Commerce. 152 

106. Auger test, Russell Papers, Moundville, Alabama. 153 

107. Old Exchange Building, Charleston, South Carolina, Charleston Chamber of Commerce. 154 

108. Surface collecting, Russell Papers, Moundville, Alabama. 155 

109. Nancy Hart, Georgia Department of Archives and History. 156 

110. Ft. Independence, Fort Independence, an Eighteenth-Century Frontier Homesite and Militia Post 

in South Carolina. 159 

111. Bastion, Ibid. 160 

112. Hut, Ibid. 162 

113. Chopper, Ibid. 163 

114. Ceramics, Ibid. 163 

115. Porringer, Ibid. 165 

1 16. Fort foundation, Ibid. 166 

117. Large jar, Ibid. 167 

118. Pommel, Ibid. 168 

119. Fort house, Ibid. 169 

120. Millwood Plantation panorama, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 170 

121. Chimney at Petersburg, Georgia, John Jameson, National Park Service. 172 

122. Wagon loaded with cotton, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 175 

123. Lowndesville bank, Historical Investigations of the Richard B. Russell Multiple Resource Area. 176 

124. James Edward Calhoun, from Dunds, 1949, Second Edition, Courtesy of Erskine College, Due 

West, South Carolina. 179 

125. Millwood Plantation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 181 

126. Calhoun's house, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 182 

127. China, Exploring the Rustic Life. 183 

128. Cotton workers, Georgia Department of Archives and History. 186 

129. Blacksmith, Georgia Department of Archives and History. 188 

130. Millwood Plantation washwomen, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. 189 

131. Wellhouse, All That Remains, the Traditional Architecture and Historic Engineering Structures 
Richard B. Russell Multiple Resource Area Georgia and South Carolina. 192 

132. Beverly Plantation House, Ibid. 194 

133. Beverly Plantation House, Ibid. 195 

134. Mortise-and-tenon joints, Ibid. 196 

135. Dove-tail notches, Ibid. 196 

136. Caldwell-Hutchison House, Ibid. 197 


137. Katherine and Bandon Hutchison, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

138. Dog trot, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

139. Mary Catherine and Robert Cleveland, All That Remains, the Traditional Architecture and His- 

toric Engineering Structures Richard B. Russell Multiple Resource Area Georgia and S.C. 

140. Alexander-Cleveland House, Ibid. 

141. Bailey brothers, Georgia Department of Archives and History. 

142. Harper House, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

143. Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina, Charleston Chamber of Commerce. 

144. Confederate troops, Georgia Department of Archives and History. 

145. Ferry, Georgia Department of Archives and History. 

146. Clinkscales House, The Old Home Place, an Archaeological and Historical Investigation 
of Five Farm Sites Along the Savannah River. Georgia and South Carolina. 

147. Millwood Plantation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

148. Bottles, Exploring the Rustic Life. 

149. Savannah River, Ibid. 

150. Wagon and erosion, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

151. Cemetery, Russell Papers, Moundville, Alabama. 

152. Millwood Plantation family, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

153. Millwood Plantation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

154. Buttons, Exploring the Rustic Life. 

155. Elberton cotton gathering, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

156. Caldwell-Hutchison tenant house, All That Remains, the Traditional Architecture and Historic 
Engineering Structures Richard B. Russell Multiple Resource Area Georgia and S.C. 

157. Heardmont canning factory, Historical Investigations of the Richard B. Russell Multiple 
Resource Area. 

158. Tenant barn, All That Remains, the Traditional Architecture and Historic Engineering 
Structures Richard B. Russell Multiple Resource Area Georgia and S.C. 

159. Calhoun tenant house, Exploring the Rustic Life. 

160. Pearle Mill workers, Historical Investigations of the Richard B. Russell Multiple Re - 
source Area. 

161. Two mill types, Archaeological Investigations at Seven Mill Sites. 

162. Gear, Ibid. 

163. Mill complex drawing, Prehistory and History Along the Upper Savannah River. Vol. II. 

164. Crib dam drawing, Archaeological Investigations at Seven Mill Sites. 

165. Metal turbine drawing, Ibid. 

166. Old Hall County mill, Georgia Department of Archives and History. 

167. Beverly residents, Historical Investigations of the Richard B. Russell Multiple Re- 
source Area. 

168. George Chandler, courtesy of Mrs. Evelyn Chandler Attaway. 

169. Pearle Mill exterior, All That Remains, the Traditional Architecture and Historic En- 
gineering Structures Richard B. Russell Multiple Resource Area Georgia and S.C. 

170. Flood of 1908, Georgia Department of Archives and History. 

171. Millwood Plantation road, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

172. Goldmine sluice, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

173. Mule-powered press, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

174. Molasses boilers, Ex ploring the Rustic Life. 

175. Harper-Featherstone tenant house, All That Remains, the Traditional Architecture and Historic 
Engineering Structures Richard B. Russell Multiple Resource Area Georgia and S. C. 

176. Well pump, Ibid. 

177. Grogan House drawing, Ibid. 

178. Granite piers, Ibid. 

179. Grogan House, Ibid. 

180. Men on train, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

181. Georgia-South Carolina Memorial Bridge, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 













182. Middleton, Historical Investigations of the Richard B. Russell Multiple Resource Area. 247 

183. Calhoun Falls Mill, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 247 

184. Dye-White Farm, The Old Home Place, an Archaeological Investigation of Five Farm Sites 

Along the Savannah River. Georgia and South Carolina. 249 

185. Clinkscales House, Ibid. 251 

186. Train, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 252 

187. Calhoun Falls, Historical Investigations of the Richard B. Russell Multiple Resource Area. 253 

188. Harbison College faculty, Power Without Power: Afro American Culture History Survey and 
Evaluation Richard B. Russell Project. 254 

189. Eleanor Ramsey and the Davis family, Ibid. 256 

190. Elberton tire factory, Ibid. 257 

191. Calhoun Falls depot, Ibid. 258 

192. Edward Brownlee and the Norwood sisters, Ibid. 259 

193. Harbison College, Ibid. 260 

194. Unidentified girl, Ibid. 261 

195. Louella Walker, Ibid. 262 

196. Tobe Wells, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 263 

197. Midwives, Power Without Power: Afro American Culture History Survey and Evaluation 

Richard B. Russell Project. 265 

198. Elberton Granite and Marble Works, Georgia Department of Archives and History. 266 

199. Katherine and Bandon Hutchison, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 268 

200. Hutchison quilt, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 269 

201. Granite quarry, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 270 

202. Elberton monuments, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 270 

203. Blackwell Bridge, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 271 

204. Richard B. Russell Dam, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 273 

205. Timeline of cultural sequences. 274 




1. Paleolndian and Early Archaic sites, Prehistory and History Along the Upper Savannah River, 

Vol. I. 8 

2. Early Archaic sites, Ibid. 18 

3. The Fall Line, Russell Papers, Moundville, Alabama. 29 

4. Middle and Late Archaic sites, Prehistory and History Along the Upper Savannah River, 

Vol. I. 30 

5. Late Archaic sites, Ibid. 38 

6. Paris Island, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. 48 

7. Late Archaic sites, Prehistory and History Along the Upper Savannah River. Vol. I. 52 

8. Pottery movement, The Beaverdam Group Archaeological Investigations at 9EB92. 9EB207, 

9EB208 and 9EB219 Richard B. Russell Multiple Resource Area Elbert County. Georgia. 58 

9. Woodland sites, Prehistory and History Along the Upper Savannah River. Vol. I. 68 

10. Mississippian sites, Ibid. 80 

11. Mississippian sites, Ibid. 108 

12. Mississippian chiefdoms, Ibid. 129 

13. De Soto's trail, courtesy of David G. Anderson, PhD dissertation. 132 

14. Cherokee territory, Historical Investigations of the Richard B. Russell Multiple 

Resource Area. 145 

15. Study area county boundaries, Ibid. 149 

16. Revolutionary War sites, Fort Independence an Eighteenth-Century Frontier Homesite 

and Militia Post in South Carolina. 161 

17. Abbeville District, produced in 1820 for Mills Atlas of South Carolina . 1825. 173 

18. Cotton production in 1820, reprinted courtesy of LSU Press from Atlas of Antebellum Southern 
Agriculture . 177 

19. Cotton production in 1850, Ibid. 178 

20. Historic sites, Historical Investigations of the Richard B. Russell Multiple 

Resource Area. 180 

21. Cotton production in 1860, reprinted courtesy of LSU Press from Atlas of Antebellum Southern 
Agriculture. 184 

22. Slave population in 1790, Ibid. 190 

23. Slave population in 1860, Ibid. 191 

24. Historic sites, Historical Investigations of the Richard B. Russell Multiple 
Resource Area. 

25. Historic and prehistoric sites, Prehistory and History Along the Upper Savannah 

River. Vol. I. 207 

26. Millwood, Exploring The Rustic Life. 216 

27. Old Millwood, Ibid. 21 7 

28. Mill sites, Archaeological Investigations at Seven Mill Sites. 232 

29. Historical sites, Historical Investigations of the Richard B. Russell Multiple 
Resource Area. 

30. Spread of boll weevil, Ibid. 248 

31. Historic, and prehistoric sites. Prehistory and History Along the Upper Savannah 

River. Vol. I. 250 

32. Richard B. Russell Recreation Area, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 




Sites, Studies, and Investigators 

Sites and Studies 

Key Investigators 

Alexander-Cleveland House 
Banister Allen Plantation 
Beaverdam Creek Borrow Pit 
Beaverdam Creek Mill 
Beaverdam Creek Mound 
Big Generostee Creek 
Black History 
Caldwell-Hutchison Farm 
Clyde Gully 
Dye-White Farm 

Eureka Mill 

Featherstone Tenant Farm 
Fort Independence 
Georgia Survey 
Gray-Heardmont Mill 
Gray Site 
Gregg Shoals 
Grogan House 
Harper-Featherstone Farm 
Harper-Featherstone Tenant Farm 
Harper's Bottom 

Harper's Ferry 

Harper Site 
History of Area 
Late Archaic Settlement 
Long-Hutchinson Farm 
Mattox Mill 
McCalla I 
McCalla II 
McCalla Bottoms 

Millwood Plantation 

Paris Island South 

Pearle Mill 

Price Mill 

Rembert Anderson Farm 

Rocky River 

Rucker's Bottom 

Rufus Bullard 

Linda Worthy, Richard J. Cronenberger 

Lesley Drucker, Woody C. Meiszner, James B.Legg 

Dean Wood, Dan Elliott 

Linda Worthy, Richard J. Cronenberger 

James Rudolph, David Hally 

Dean Wood, Teresa Rudolph, Dennis Blanton 

Eleanor Ramsey, Patricia Turner, Shirley Moore 

Linda Worthy, Richard J. Cronenberger 

Marlessa Gray 

Ann Tippitt, William Marquardt 

Linda Worthy, Richard J. Cronenberger 

Victor Carbone, John E. Foss, Antonio Segovia, Mark Sheehan, 

Joseph Schuldenrein 

Robert Newman 

Linda Worthy, Richard J. Cronenberger 

Beverly Bastian 

Antonio Segovia 

Brooks Hutto 

Linda Worthy, Richard J. Cronenberger 

Marlessa Gray 

Ann Tippitt, William Marquardt 

Linda Worthy, Richard J. Cronenberger 

Linda Worthy, Richard J. Cronenberger 

Linda Worthy, Richard J. Cronenberger 

David Anderson, Charles Cantley, Andrea Lee Novick, 

Joseph Schuldenrein 

David Anderson, Charles Cantley, Andrea Lee Novick, 

Joseph Schuldenrein 

Marlessa Gray 

Darlene Roth, Stephen Grable, Dana White 

Michael Alterman, Dean Wood, Dan Elliott 

Linda Worthy, Richard J. Cronenberger 

Robert Newman 

Marlessa Gray 

Marlessa Gray 

David Anderson, Joseph Schuldenrein, Andrea Lee Novick, 

Charles Cantley 

Charles Orser, Annette Nekola, James Roark 

Dean Wood, Dan Elliott 

Robert Newman, Linda Worthy 

Robert Newman 

Linda Worthy, Richard J. Cronenberger 

David Anderson, Andrea Lee Novick, Charles Cantley 

Joseph Schuldenrein 

David Anderson, Joseph Schuldenrein, Andrea Lee Novick, 

Charles Cantley 

David Anderson, Joseph Schuldenrein, Andrea Lee Novick, 

Charles Cantley 


Sara's Ridge 

Simpson's Field 


South Carolina Survey 

Survey of Study Area 

Survey of Study Area 

Technical Synthesis-Prehistoric 

Technical Synthesis-Historic 

The Beaverdam Group 

Thomas B. Clinkscales Farm 

Transect 21 

W. Frank Anderson Farm 

White Mill 

W.M. Allen House 

Van Creek 

38 AB 387 
9 EB 368 

Dean Wood, Teresa Rudolph, Dennis Blanton 

Dean Wood, Teresa Rudolph, Dennis Blanton 

John Foss, Dan Wagner, Frank Miller 

E. Thomas Hemmings 

Richard Taylor, Marion Smith 

Albert Goodyear, Michael Harmon, William Monteith 

David Anderson 

J. W. Joseph 

Janice Campbell, Carol Weed 

Lesley Drucker, Woody C. Meiszner, James B. Legg 

Dean Wood, Dan Elliott 

Linda Worthy, Richard J. Cronenberger 

Robert Newman 

Linda Worthy, Richard J. Cronenberger 

David Anderson, Joseph Schuldenrein, Andrea Lee Novick, 

Charles Cantley 

Thomas Gresham, Karen Wood 

Thomas Gresham, Karen Wood 


Alterman, Michael C. 

1987 A Reassessment of Late Archaic Settlement and Subsistence Along the Upper Savannah River Valley: A View 
from the Richard B. Russell Reservoir . Unpublished PhD Dissertation. Department of Anthropology, Columbia 

Anderson, David G. 

1979 Excavation at Four Fall Line Sites: The Southeastern Columbia Beltwav Proiect . Commonwealth Associates 
Inc., Report No. R-2008, Jackson, Michigan. Jointly released by South Carolina Department of Highways and Public- 

Anderson, David G. 

1985 Middle Woodland Societies on the Lower South Atlantic Slope: A View from Georgia and South Carolina. 
Early Georgia 13:29-66. 

Anderson, David G. 

1990 The Paleolndian Colonization of Eastern North America: A View from the Southeastern United States. In Early 
Paleolndian Economies of Eastern North America , ed. by Barry Isaac and Kenneth Tankersley, pp. 163-216. Journal 
of Economic Anthropology Supplement 5. 

Anderson, David G., Charles E. Cantley, and Joseph Schuldenrein 

1985 The Rufus Bullard Site (9EB76) Archeological Record. In Prehistoric Human Ecology Alony the Upper 
Savannah River: Excavations at the Rucker's Bottom, Abbeville and Bullard Site Groups , assembled by David G. 
Anderson and Joseph Schuldenrein, pp. 149-174. Russell Papers, Interagency Archeological Services Division, 
National Park Service, Atlanta. 

Anderson, David G., David J. Hally, and James L. Rudolph 

1986 The Mississippian Occupation of the Savannah River Valley. Southeastern Archaeology 5:32-51. 

Anderson, David G., Jerald Ledbetter, and Lisa O'Steen 

1990 Paleolndian Period Archaeology of Georgia . University of Georgia Laboratory of Archaeology Series Report 
No. 28, Georgia Archaeological Research Design Paper No. 6. 

Anderson, David G., and Glen T. Hanson 

1988 Early Archaic Settlement in the Southeastern United States: A Case Study from the Savannah River Basin 
Amencan Antiquity 53:262-286. 

Anderson, David G., and J. W. Joseph 

1988 Prehistory and History Along the Upper Savannah River: Technical Synthesis of Cultural Resource 
Investigations, Richard B. Russell Multiple Resource Area, Volumes 1 & II . Russell Papers. Interagency 
Archeological Services Division, National Park Service, Atlanta. 

Anderson, David G., and Joseph Schuldenrein 

1983 Mississippian Settlement in the Southern Piedmont: Evidence from the Rucker's Bottom Site. Elbert County . 
Georgia. Southeastern Archaeology 2:98-117. 

Anderson, David G., and Joseph Schuldenrein 

1985 The Rocky River Site (38AB91) Archeological Record. In Prehistoric Human Ecology Along the Upper 
Savannah River: Excavations at the Rucker's Bottom. Abbeville and Bullard Site Groups , assembled by David G. 
Anderson and Joseph Schuldenrein. pp. 215-249. Russell Papers. Interagency Archeological Services Division. 
National Park Service, Atlanta. 


Anderson, David G., and Joseph Schuldenrein 

1985 Prehistoric Human Ecology Along the Upper Savannah River: Excavations at the Rucker's Bottom, Abbeville, 
and Bullard Site Groups, Volumes I & II. Russell Papers, Interagency Archeological Services Division, National Park 
Service, Atlanta. 

Bastian, Beverly 

1982 Fort Independence: An Eighteenth Century Frontier Homesite and Militia Post in South Carolina. Russell 
Papers, Interagency Archeological Services Division, National Park Service, Atlanta. 

Blanton, Dennis B. 

1983 Lithic Raw Material Procurement and Use During the Morrow Mountain Phase in South Carolina. 
Unpublished M.A. thesis, Department of Anthropology, Brown University. 

Brose, David S., and N'omi Greber (editors) 

1979 Hopewell Archaeology— The Chillicothe Conference. Kent State University Press, Kent, Ohio. 

Caldwell Joseph R. 

1953 The Rembert Mounds, Elbert County, Georgia. Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 154: 303-320. 

Campbell, Janice L., Carol S. Weed, and Prentice M. Thomas, Jr. 

1984 The Beaverdam Group: Archaeological Investigations at 9EB92. 9EB207. 9EB208. and 9EB219. Richard B. 
Russell Multiple Resource Area. Elbert County, Georgia. Russell Papers, Interagency Archeological Services 

Division, National Park Service, Atlanta. 

Charles, Tommy 

1986 The Fifth Phase of the Collectors Survey. South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, 
University of South Carolina, The Notebook 18:1-27. 

Claflin, William H., Jr. 

1931 The Stallings Island Mound, Columbia County, Georgia. Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and 
Ethnology Papers 14(1). 

Deetz, James 

1967 Invitation to Archaeology published for The American Museum of Natural History by The Natural History 
Press, Garden City, New York. 

DeJarnette, David L., E. Kurjack and J. Cambron 

1962 Stanfield-Worley Bluff Shelter Excavations. Journal of Alabama Archaeology 8(1 & 2). 

DePratter, Chester B. 

1989 Cofitachequi: Ethnohistorical and Archaeological Evidence, from Studies in South Carolina Archaeology: 
Essays In Honor of Robert L. Stephenson . The University of South Carolina. 

Dickens, Roy S., James L. McKinley, James H. Chapman, Leland G. Ferguson 

1979 Frontiers in the Soil. The Archaeology of Georgia . Frontiers Publishing Company, Atlanta, Georgia. 

Doran, Glen H., David N. Dickel, William E. Ballinger, Jr., O. Frank Agee, Philip J. Laipis, and William W. 

1988 Anatomical, Cellular and Molecular Analysis of 8,000 year old Human Brain Tissue from the Windover 

Archaeological Site. Nature 323: 803-806. 

Drucker, Lesley M., Woody C. Meiszner, and James B. Legg 

1982 Testing and Data Recovery at Allen Plantation (38AB102) and Thomas B. Clinkscales Farm (38AB221). 


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Resource Study Series 55. 

Elliott, Daniel T. 

1981 Soapstone Use in the Wallace Reservoir . Wallace Rescrvoif Pro|e«.t Contribution 5. 

Ehrenhard, John E. (editor) 

1990 Coping With Site Looting: Southeastern Perspectives . Interagency Archeological Services Division, National 
Park Service, Atlanta. 

Freeman, Douglas Southall. 

1944 Lee's Lieutenants. A Study in Command . Charles S^nhner's Sons, New York. 

I oss, John E., Dan P. Wagner, Frank P. Miller. 

1985 Soils of the Savannah River Valley . Russell Papers, Interagency Archeological Services Di\ision. National 
Park Service, Atlanta. 

Fnson, George C. 

1989 Experimental Use of Clovis Weaponry and Tools on African Elephants. American Antiquity . 54:766-784. 

Futato, Eugene M. 

1986 Archaeological Curation at the Alabama State Museum of Natural History. Division of Archaeology . 
Manuscript on file, Mound State Monument, Moundville, Alabama. 

Gardner, William M. 

1984 Culture and Environment in the Richard B. Russell Reservoir: A Summary of Investigations Between 1979- 
1981 . Russell Papers, Interagency Archeological Services Division, National Park Service, Atlanta. 

Gardner, William M. 

1989 An Examination of Cultural Change in the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene (circa 9200 to 6800 B.C.). 
In Paleolndian Research in Virginia: A Synthesis , edited by J. Mark Wittkofski and Theodore R. Reinhart. pp. 5-51. 

Goodyear, Albert C. 

1988 On Study of Technological Change Current Anthropology 29:320-323. 

Goodyear, Albert C, John H. House, and Neal W. Ackerly 

1979 Laurens- Anderson: An Archaeological Study of the Inter-nvenne Piedmont . South Carolina Institute of 
Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina, Anthropological Studies 4 

Gray, Marlessa A. 

1983 'The Old Home Place.' An Archaeological and Historical Investigation of Five Farm Sites Along the Savannah 
River. Georgia and South Carolina . Russell Papers. Interagency Archeological Services Division, National Park 
Service, Atlanta. 

Gresham, Thomas H., and Karen G. Wo<xl 

1986 Archaeological Data Recovery at 38AB387 and 9EB368 Richard B. Russell Lake. Abbeville County. South 
Carolina and Elbert County. Georgia . Final Contract DACW21-86-M-0132 Report prepared for the U. S. Army 
Corps of Engineers. Savannah District. Savannah, Georgia. 

Gresham. Thomas H . . Robbie F. Ethndge 

1989 Archeology at the Mill Creek Site . Southeastern Archeological Services. Inc.. Athens. Georgia. 

Hanson, Glen T. 

1982 The analysis of Late Archaic-Early WixxJland Adaptive Change Along the Middle Savannah River: A Proposed 


Study. South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina, The Notebook 14:5- 

Hanson, Glen T. 

1985 The G.S. Lewis East Early Archaic Assemblage . Paper Presented at the Fall Meeting of the Society for 
Georgia Archaeology, Athens. 

Harmon, Michael 

1986 Eighteenth Century Lower Cherokee Adaptation and Use of European Material Culture . South Carolina 
Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina, Volumes in Historical Archaeology 2. 

House, John H. and David Ballenger 

1976 An Archeological Survey of the Interstate 77 Route in the South Carolina Piedmont . South Carolina Institute 
of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina, Research Manuscript Series 104. 

Hudson, Charles M. 

1976 The Southeastern Indians . University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville. 

Hudson, Charles M., Marvin T. Smith, and Chester B. DePratter 

1984 The Hernando de Soto Expedition: From Apalachee to Chiaha. Southeastern Archaeology 3:65-77. 

Hudson, Charles M., Marvin T. Smith, David J. Hally, Richard Polhemus, and Chester B. DePratter 

1985 Coosa: A Chiefdom in the Sixteenth Century United States. American Antiquity 50:723-737. 

Hutto, Brooks 

1970 Archaeological Survey of the Elbert County, Georgia. Portion of the Proposed Trotter's Shoals Reservoir, 
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Jefferies, Richard W. 

1978 The Tunacunnhee Site: Hopewell in Northwest Georgia. Hopewell Archaeology— The Chillicothe Conference . " 
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Jones, Lewis P. 

1971 South Carolina: A Synoptic History for Laymen . Sandlapper Publishing, Inc., Orangeburg, South Carolina. 

Joukowsky, Martha 

1980 A Complete Manual of Field Archaeology— Tools and Techniques of Field Work for Archaeologists . Prentice- 
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Kelly, Arthur R. 

1973 Early Villages on the Chattahoochee River, Georgia. Archeology 26:32-37. 

Larson, Lewis H., Jr. 

1972 Functional Considerations of Warfare in the Southeast During the Mississippian Period. American Antiquity 

Ledbetter, R. Jerald, Stephen A. Kowalewski, and Lisa O'Steen 

1984 Chert of Southern Oconee County, Georgia. Early Georgia 9:1-13. 

Lee, Chung H. 

1976 The Beaverdam Creek Mound (9EB85), Elbert County, Georgia . Unpublished manuscript on file at 
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Lewis, Thomas M. N. and Madeline Kncberg 

1961 Eva: An Archaic Site . University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville. 

Mcintosh, Jane 

1986 The Practical Archaeologist— How We Know What We Know About The Past . The Paul Press Ltd., London. 

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1989 Why Don't We Know When the First People Came to North America? American Antiquity . 54:471-490. 

Michael, Henry N. and Elizabeth K. Ralph (editors) 

1971 Dating Techniques tor the Archaeologist . The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

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1983 Great Georgians . Advocate Press, Franklin Springs, Georgia. 

Morrison, Samuel Eliott and Henry Steele Commager. 

1962 The Growth of the American Republic . Oxford University Press, New York. 

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1980 Zehree Archaeological Project: Excavation. Data Interpretation, and Report on the Zehree Homestead Site. 
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Newman, Robert D. 

1984 Archaeological Investigations at Seven Mill Sites . Russell Papers, Interagency Archeological Services Division, 
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1987 Exploring the Rustic Life: Multidisciplinary Research at Millwood Plantation, A Large Piedmont Plantation 
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1983 Early Archaic Settlement Patterns in the Wallace Reservoir: An Inner Piedmont Perspective . Unpublished MA 
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1986 The Late Woodland 'Problem' in North Georgia . Paper presented at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the 
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1983 Middle and Late Archaic Settlement in the South Carolina Piedmont . Unpublished MA. thesis. Department 
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1985 Archeological Geology of the Savannah River Valley and Main Tributaries in the Richard B. Russell Multiple 
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1985 Late Quaternary Environmental History of the Richard B. Russell Multiple Resource Area . Russell Papers, 
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1979 The Hopewell Connection in Southwest Georgia. In Hopewell Archaeology and the Chillicothe Conference , 
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1979 Koster . Anchor Press, Garden City, New York. 

Taylor, Richard L. and Marion F. Smith (editors) 

1978 The Report of the Intensive Survey of the Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake, Savannah River. Georgia and 
South Carolina . South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina, Research 
Manuscript Series 142. 

The History Group, Inc. 

1981 Historical Investigations of the Richard B. Russell Multiple Resource Area . Russell Papers, Interagency 
Archeological Services Division, National Park Service, Atlanta. 

Thomas, David H. and Clark S. Larsen 

1979 The Anthropology of St. Catherine's Island 2. The Refuge-Deptford Mortuary Complex . Anthropological 
Papers of the American Museum of Natural History 56(1). 

Tippitt, V. Ann and William H. Marquardt 

1984 Archaeological Investigations at Gregg Shoals, A Deeply Stratified Site on the Savannah River . Russell Papers, 
Interagency Archeological Services Division, National Park Service, Atlanta. 

Trinkley, Michael B. 

1984 The Archaeology of Sol Legare Island. Charleston County. South Carolina . Chicora Foundation Research 
Series 1. 


Trinkley, Michael B. 

1986 Indian and Freedman Occupation at the Fish Haul Site (38BU805). Beaufort County, South Carolina . Chicora 
Foundation Research Series 1. 

Tyzzer, Robert N., Ill 

1986 Human Skeletal Remains from 38AN8 and 38AN126. In Prehistory in the Richard B. Russell Reservoir: The 
Archaic and Woodland Periods of the Upper Savannah River: The Final Report of the Data Recovery at the Anderson 
and Elbert County Groups: 38AN8, 38AN29, 38AN126, 9EB17, 9EB19, and 9EB21 , by Wood, W. Dean, Dan T. 
Elliott, Teresa P. Rudolph, and Dennis B. Blanton, pp. 361-369. Russell Papers, Interagency Archeological Services 
Division, National Park Service, Atlanta. 

Van Doran, Mark (editor) 

1985 Travels of William Bartram . Dover Publications, Inc., New York. 

Ward, Anne 

1977 Adventures in Archaeology . The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, London and New York. 

Watson, Patty Jo 

1976 In Pursuit of Prehistoric Subsistence: A Comparative Account of Some Contemporary Flotation Techniques. 
Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology 1:77-100. 

Wauchope, Robert 

1966 Archaeological Survey of Northern Georgia . Society for American Archaeology, Memoir 21. 

Wood, W. Dean, Dan T. Elliott, Teresa P. Rudolph, and Dennis B. Blanton 

1986 Prehistory in the Richard B. Russell Reservoir: The Archaic and Woodland Periods of the Upper Savannah 
River: The Final Report of the Data Recovery at the Anderson and Elbert County Groups: 38AN8, 38AN29, 
38AN126, 9EB17, 9EB19, and 9EB21 . Russell Papers, Interagency Archeological Services Division, National Park 
Service, Atlanta. 

Wood, W. Dean 

1981 An Analysis of Two Early Woodland Households from the Cane Island Site, 9PM209 . Department of 
Anthropology, University of Georgia, Wallace Reservoir Project Contribution 4. 

Worthy, Linda (editor) 

1983 All That Remains: The Traditional Architecture and Historic Engineering Structures in the Richard B. Russell 
Multiple Resource Area, Georgia and South Carolina . Russell Papers, Interagency Archeological Services Division, 
National Park Service, Atlanta. 



Abbeville, South Carolina, 197, 
201, 209, 221 , 245, 254, 259, 
Abbeville County, South Carolina, 
1, 35, 49, 71, 143, 148, 152, 
158, 249, 251 

in 1930, 267 

in 1940s, 143 

in 1970s, 143 

in Civil War, 202, 208, 210 

lumber from, 263 

oral histories from, 255, 256 

in Post-Revolution Era, 175, 176, 
Abbeville Press and Banner, Tlie, 

183, 260 
Abraders, 46, 49 

A-cee (black tea), 3, 5-6, 112, 113 
Acorns, 5, 64, 97, 122, 162 
Adams, Samuel, 157 
Adena culture, 65-66 
Africa, 9, 11 
Agriculture, See Farming 
Aiken, South Carolina, 67 
Alabama, 9, See also specific places 

in Colonial Era, 151, 154 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 58 

in Middle Archaic Era, 36, 37 

in Paleolndian Era, 13 

in Post-Revolution Era, 174, 184, 

railroads and, 245 

in Reconstruction Era, 215 

in Transition Era, 131, 136 

in Woodland Era, 69 
Alabama State Museum of Natural 

History, 131 
Alaska, 9 

Albermarle Point, 139 
Alexander-Cleveland Farm, 198, 

199, 273 
Alexandria, Georgia, See Edinburg 
Allen, Ann Elizabeth, 209 
Allen, Banister, 209 
Allen, William, 194, 195, 196, 198 
Allendale County, South Carolina, 

Alligators, 151 
Alterman, Michael, 59 
Amaranth, 97 
American Revolution, 153, 154, 

Amos, Thomas A., 260 
Anderson, David, 2, 13, 15, 24, 28, 
58, 74, 107, 126 

Anderson, Robert, 159-160, 164, 
165, 166, 168 

Anderson, South Carolina, 40, 216, 
217, 235 

Anderson County, South Carolina, 
1, 64, 148, 201, 247, 267, 

Animal masks, 66 

Animals, See also Deer; Fishing; 
Hunting; specific types 
in Early Archaic Era, 22, 25 
in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 

in Middle Archaic Era, 35 
in Mississippian Era, 99, 120, 

in Paleolndian Era, 11, 15 

Animal sculptures, 81 

Antietam battle (battle ofSharps- 
burg), 201 

Anvils, 27, 81, 95 

Appalachian Mountains, 152 

Archaeological and Historic Preser- 
vation Act, 1 

Archaic Era 
Early, 19-29 

Late, See Late Archaic Era 
Middle, 29, 30, 31-37 

Archery, 107, See also Bows and 

Arctic Circle, 9 

Arizona, 11 

Arkansas, 16, 155 

Arkansas River, 13 

Army Corps of Engineers, See U.S. 
Army Corps of Engineers 


in Colonial Era, 143 

in Mississippian Era, 81, 90, 93, 

96, 118, 133 
in theory formation, 71 
in Transition Era, 136 
in Woodland Era, 63, 64 

Art, See also specific types 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 58, 

in Middle Archaic Era, 35 
in Mississippian Era, 79, 85, 87, 

in Woodland Era, 66, 69, 76 

Artifacts, See also specific types; 
Tools from American Revolution 

Era, 164 
at Calhoun House, 243 
from Colonial Era, 143, 155 
from Early Archaic Era, 20 

from Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 

54, 59 
from Late Archaic Preceramic 

Era, 43, 44, 45, 46 
from Middle Archaic Era, 33, 34, 

from Mississippian Era, 79, 82, 
84, 85, 86, 89, 91, 92, 93, 
95, 96, 99, 104, 117 
from Paleolndian Era, 9, 11, 13, 

16, 17 
at Rucker's Bottom, 117 
theft of, 91, 92 
in theory formation, 71 
from Transition Era, 125, 131 
from Woodland Era, 76, 77 
Ash, 64, 65 

Asheveille, North Carolina, 136 
Asia, 9 
Aspirin, 99 
Athens, Georgia, 59 
Athletics, 81, 82, 107 
Atlanta, Georgia, 76, 201, 245, 253 
Atlatles (spearthrowers), 36-37 
Attaway, Evelyn, 233 
Augusta, Georgia, 45, 51, 53, 125, 
134, 150, 151 
in American Revolution, 163, 164 
in Civil War, 204, 21 1 
in Early Twentieth Century, 235 
flooding in, 235 
in Post-Revolution Era, 172, 174, 

railroads and, 245 
Automobiles, 245 
Awls, 36, 46, 54, 144 
Axes, 60, 95 
Ay may village, 134 


Bailey, Henry M., 200 

Bailey, William Thomas, 200 

Baking, 64 

Ball games, 81 

Bands, 13, 28, 29, 35, 49 

Barbacoas (store rooms), 114 

Barbers, 264 

Barley, 163, 184 

Bartering, 58, 139, 140, See also 

Bartram, William, 151-152 
Basecamps, 16, 23, 24, 32, 50 
Baskets, 70, 263 
Bastian, Beverly, 158 
Battle of Kettle Creek, 168 


in Colonial Era, 139, 146 

glass, 139, 146 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 54, 

in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 

in Middle Archaic Era, 35 

in Mississippian Era, 86, 87, 89, 
92, 96, 117 

in Woodland Era, 67 
Beans, 61, 251 
Bear oil, 99 

Bears, 11, 35, 66, 122, 151 
Beaufort District South Carolina, 

Beaver Cotton Mills, 235 
Beaverdam Creek, 97, 104, 227, 
228, 232, 234, 238, 248, 270 
Beaverdam Creek Mound, 82-85, 
87-90,96,99, 108, 117, 125, 

diseases in those buried at, 120 

pottery at, 114 

soil at, 101 

vandalism of, 92 

zooarchaeology of, 135 
Beavers, 25 

Becker, C. R., 214, 216 
Beech trees, 20 
Begbie, Dr., 160 
Bering Strait, 9 
Berries, 97, 184, See also specific 

Bertoni, Peter, 266 
Bertoni, Tom, 266 
Bethel Grove Baptist Church, 221 
Beverly, 230, 231, 233 
Beverly Plantation, 194, 196 
Bibb, William Wyatt, 174 
Biface tools, 35, Sec also Spear- 
Bifurcate spearpoints, 29 
Bin ford, Lewis, 71 
Birmingham, Alabama, 245 
Birth rates, 29, 60 
Bison, 15, 22-23 
Blackberries, 97 
"Black Codes" statutes, 216 
Black social clubs, 265 
Black tea, 3, 5-6, 112, 113 
Black Warrior River, 131 
Blackwell Bridge, 270-271 
Blades, 26, 27, 35, 39, 46, 67, 81 
Blanton, Dennis, 34 
Blastomycosis, 92 
Blue Ridge Mountains, 142, 143 
Bluffs, 103, 122 
"Boat-house myth," 183-184 
Bobcat teeth, 35 

Body decoration, 61, 82, See also 

Jewelry; specific types 
Boiling stones, 45, 53, 56, 60, 95 
Boll weevils, 176, 247, 248, 252, 

257, 267 
Bonaparte, Napoleon, 175 
Bone diseases, 120, 122, See also 

specific types 
Bone marrow inflammation, 120 

from American Revolution Era, 

from Early Archaic Era, 26 

from Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 

from Late Archaic Preceramic 
Era, 46, 49 

from Middle Archaic Era, 35, 36, 

from Mississippian Era, 84, 87, 
92,93,95,99, 116, 117, 120 

tools made of, 26, 36, 37, 54, 95 
Bottles, 117, 210 
Bowie, John, 160, 163, 164, 166, 

Bowls, 56, 76, 96, 100, 114, 117, 

234, 243 
Bowman Ferry, 205 
Bows and arrows, 5, 63, 146, 251 
Boyd, William, 164, 165, 166 
Bracelets, 87, 143, 146 
Bramble berries, 97 
Brass, 143, 146 
British, 111, 112, 136, 138 

in Colonial Era, 139-155 

war with (American Revolution), 
153, 154, 157-169 
British Loyalists, 156, 157, 158, 

163, 164, 165, 168, 169 
Broadpoint (Savannah River 

Stemmed) spearpoints, 59, 60 
Broad River, 134, 165, 171, 173 
Brooms, 268 

Brownlee, Edward, 259, 262, 264 
Brown University, 264 
Buffalo, 151 

Bullard, Rufus, 257, 267 
Bureau of Refugees, Frecdmen, and 

Abandoned Lands (Freedmen's 

Bureau), 214. 216, 217 
Burials, 6-7 

of British Loyalists, 158 

in Colonial Era, 146 

at Eva, 36 

family members with, 77 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 61 

in Middle Archaic Era, 36 

in Mississippian Era, 81-82, 85- 
87,89,90-92,93.94. 101, 116-120 

in Transition Era, 125 

in Woodland Era, 65, 66, 67, 69, 
76, 77 
Burnishing, 101 
Burt-Stark Mansion, 201 
Business management, 242 
Busk Ceremony, 83 
Buttons, 139, 146, 219 

Cable, John, 24 

Caffeine, 5-6, 112 

Cahokia, Illinois, 79 

Calcasieu River, 28 

Caldwell, Joseph, 32, 33 

Caldwell-HutchisonFarm, 197. 198, 

Calhoun, Caroline Walker. 243 
Calhoun, Floride Bonneau, 178 
Calhoun, James Edward, 237-238. 
243, 255, See also Millwood 
in 1875, 236 
in Civil War, 201, 205, 206, 208- 

death of, 243 
ferry owned by, 205 
in Late Nineteenth Century-Early 
Twentieth Century, 225, 227 
in Post-Revolution Era, 170, 176, 

178, 179-185, 188-189 
in Reconstruction Era, 215-216, 
217, 218-219, 223 
Calhoun, John C, 178, 201 
Calhoun, John Ewing, 176 
Calhoun, Maria EdgcworthSimkins, 

Calhoun, Patrick, 256 
Calhoun Falls, South Carolina, 234, 
245, 253, 256, 257. 258. 264 
Calhoun Falls Mission School (Mr. 

Lee's School), 259 
Calhoun Falls State Park. 273 
Calhoun family, 150, See also spe- 
cific members 
Calhoun Mills, 218, 247 
"Calhoun people," 255 
Callahan, Basil. 216 
Camden, South Carolina. 134, 152 
Campfires, 267 
Camping in present day, 273 

base-, 16, 23, 24, 32, 50 
in Early Archaic Era, 23, 24 
in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 59 
in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 

49. 50 
in Middle Archaic Era. 32, 33, 


in Paleolndian Era, 16 
seasonal, 50 

in theory formation, 71 
transitory, 50-51 

Canada, 10 

Cane, 112, 237 

Canning, 222 

Cannons, 152, 168 

Canoes, 103 

Cantley, Charles, 49, 71 

Carbon 14 testing, 27, 54, 57, 107 

Carlisle, Arnette, 245 

Carpetweed, 97 

Carters ville pottery, 70, 72, 73 

Carvings, 70, 76, 79, 99, 126, 128 

Cataloging, 131 

Catholic missions, 136 

Cats, 137 

Cattle, 162, 171, 173 

Celts, 94, 95 

Cemeteries, 116-117, See also Buri- 

Central Park, New York City, 189 

Ceramic Era, 53-61 

Ceramics, 53-61 , 233, 242, See also 

in American Revolution Era, 164 
in Colonial Era, 143 
in Late Nineteenth Century-Early 

Twentieth Century, 234 
in Mississippian Era, 92, 95, 98, 

99-100, 101, 121 
polished, 101 

in Post-Revolution Era, 183 
in theory formation, 71 
in Woodland Era, 69, 74 

Ceremonial centers, See also specif- 
ic centers 
in Mississippian Era, 81-82, 84, 

87, 89, 101, 120 
in Transition Era, 125, 126 
in Woodland Era, 67 

Ceremonies, 5-6, 78, See also Ritu- 
als; specific types 
in Colonial Era, 146 
in Early Archaic Era, 29 
in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 53 
in Mississippian Era, 81-82, 83, 

85, 89, 90, 95, 104, 112 
in Transition Era, 127 
in Woodland Era, 61, 65, 66, 67, 

Chandler, George, 233-234 

Chandler, Oscar David, 233 

Chandler, Raymond Jr., 233 

Charcoal, 64, 65 

Charles, Tommy, 15 

Charleston, South Carolina, 138, 

139, 140, 141, 148, 150, 152, 
153, 154, 211 
in American Revolution, 163, 167 
antagonism toward aristocrats 
from, 138 
Charleston Harbor, 203 
Charleston Rebels, 157, 158, 164, 

165, 166, 167, 168, 169 
Charles Town, See Charleston 
Charnel houses, 116-117 
Chattahoochee River, 58, 67 
Chattanooga, Tennessee, 15, 67 
Chauga villages, 126 
Chenopodium, 63, 64, 97 
Cherokee Indians, 109, 111, 114, 
126, 158 
British declaration of war on, 148 
clothing of, 144-146 
in Colonial Era, 140-155 
constitutional government of, 154 
European influence on, 144 
language of, 155 
Lower, 143, 147, 148, 153, 154, 

Middle, 143, 148 
Overfull, 143 
Cherokee Path (Keowee Path), 143, 

Cherokee Phoenix, The, 155 
Cherokee Shoals, 164, 165 

in Early Archaic Era, 26 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 59 

in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 

45, 46, 49 
in Middle Archaic Era, 32, 33, 

in Mississippian Era, 117-118 
outcrops of, 16 

in Paleolndian Era, 11, 12, 13, 
14, 15, 16, 17 
Chestnut trees, 20 
Chicken, George, 142 
Chickens, 173, 268 

Cofitachequi, 126 
in Colonial Era, 140, 151 
De Soto and, 132, 136 
in Mississippian Era, 77, 79, 84, 
85,89,90, 109-111, 112, 113 
Ocute, 126, 133 

in Transition Era, 126, 129, 132 
Chisels, 46 

Chocktaw Indians, 150 
Chunkey game, 5, 82, 95, 107 
Churns, 234 
Cinnamon, 99 

Cities in Mississippian Era, 79 
Civilian Conservation Corps, 131 

Civil War, 176, 191, 200, 201-211, 
214, 227, 249 
Calhoun (James Edward) in, 201 , 

205, 206, 208-211 
fanning in, 206 

Georgia in, 201, 204, 205, 211 
Reconstruction after. See Recon- 
South Carolina in, 201, 202, 203, 

208, 210 
Virginia in, 201, 203, 204, 205 
Claggett, Stephen, 24 
Clans, 111, 112 
Clark, Elijah, 165, 166 
Clark, Minnie, 258, 259, 261 
Clay, 53, 54, 56, 57, 60, See also 
in Late Nineteenth Century-Early 

Twentieth Century, 234 
in Mississippian Era, 81, 84, 87, 

89, 96, 114, 116 
in Woodland Era, 64, 65, 66, 67, 
69, 70, 71, 76, 77 
Cleavers, 46 

Cleveland, Mary Catherine, 199 
Cleveland, Robert, 199 
Cleveland, William, 225 
Cleveland, Windell, 273 
changes in, 10, 17, 37, 61 
in Early Archaic Era, 20 
in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 61 
in Middle Archaic Era, 31, 37 
in Paleolndian Era, 10, 17, 20 
Clinkscales, Ezekiel, 249-254 
Clinkscales, Joseph Ezekiel, 251 
Clinkscales, Lucinda, 249 
Clinkscales, Ralph, 253 
Clinkscales, Ray, 253 
Clinkscales, Susan, 251 
Clinkscales, William Franklin, 206, 

Clinkscales family, 206, 208, 249, 
251, Sec also specific mem- 
Cloth, 69, 70, 85, 139, 144 
of Cherokee Indians, 144-146 
in Colonial Era, 139, 144-146 
in Early Archaic Era, 26 
of freed slaves, 218 
in Late Nineteenth Century-Early 

Twentieth Century, 230 
in Mississippian Era, 85, 87, 94, 

114-116, 131 
in Post-Revolution Era, 187, 188, 

191, 192 
in Reconstruction Era, 218 
of slaves, 187, 188, 191, 192 

Clover, 184 

Clovis spearpoints, 11-13, 15, 16, 

Clyde Gully, 79, 81, 99 
Coastal Plain, 37, 40, 59, 60, 76 
Coffee, 211 
Cofitachequi (Yupaha) Indians, 126, 

132, 133, 134, 135, 136 
Cold cream jar quartz, 25 
Cold Harbor, Virginia, 204 
Coldwater Creek, 226 
Coldwater State Park, 270, 271 
Colhoun, James Edward, See Cal- 
houn, James Edward 
Colonial Era, 139-155 

burials in, 146 

Cherokee Indians in, 140-155 

clothing in, 139, 144-146 

cooking in, 146 

Creek Indians in, 140, 142, 143, 
150, 151, 154 

farming in, 146 

hunting in, 139, 143, 146 

trade in, 139, 140, 142, 143, 
146, 147, 153 
Colorado, 11, 22 
Columbia, South Carolina, 134 
Columbus, Georgia, 186 
Columella, 86, 87, 96 
Communal buildings, 76 
Communal cooking, 64 
Communal eating, 143 
Competition, 79, 125 
Confederate currency, 213 
Confederate Engineering Depart- 
ment, 21 1 
Congaree River, 134 
Consensus, 1 13 
Constitutional government of Chero- 

kees, 154 
Containers, 234, 242, 243, See also 

specific types 

in American Revolution Era, 165, 

in Civil War, 210 

in Colonial Era, 143 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 53, 

in Late Nineteenth Century-Early 
Twentieth Century, 234 

in Mississippian Era, 96, 100, 
112, 114, 117 

shells as, 3, 6 

in Woodland Era, 71, 72, 76 
Continental Congress, 167 
Continental connections, 9 
Contour plowing ("Loxotising"), 

Conveyor belts, 226 

Convicts, 258 
Cook, Henry A, 251 
Cooking, See also Food 

in Colonial Era, 146 

communal, 64 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 53, 

in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 

in Mississippian Era, 96, 99 

ovens for, 64, 65 

in theory formation, 71 

in Woodland Era, 64, 65 
Cooking oil, 63, 96, 99 
Cooking pits, 39, 40, 46, 53 

in Mississippian Era, 85, 87, 88, 
94, 95, 101 

in Transition Era, 126, 127, 135 

in Woodland Era, 66, 67 
Corn, 5, 6, 256 

in American Revolution Era, 162 

in Colonial Era, 152 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 61 

in Late Nineteenth Century-Early 
Twentieth Century, 225, 226 

in Mississippian Era, 83, 97, 122 

in Post-Revolution Era, 173, 181, 

in Transition Era, 134 

in Woodland Era, 64 
Corn liquor, 227 
Cornwallis, Charles, 169 
Corps of Engineers, See U.S. Army 

Corps of Engineers 
Costumes, 85, 131 
Cottage industries, 46 
Cotton, 246, 255, 256, 257, 267 

in 1930, 268 

boll weevil destruction of, 247, 
248, 252, 257, 267 

in Late Nineteenth Century-Early 
Twentieth Century, 230 

in Post-Revolution Era, 174-179, 
181, 184, 185, 186, 187, 192 

in Reconstruction Era, 220, 221 
Cotton gins, 174, 175, 238, 246 
Cotton mills, 228, 235, 246 
Cotton seed oil, 246 
Council houses, 5, 107-109, 110, 

112-113, 125 
Councils, 88, 109, 111, 112, 113 
Cowpens, South Carolina, 168 
Creek Indians, 109, 111, 112, 113, 
140, 142, 143, 150, 151, 154, 
Crematories, 66 
Crop rotation, 181 
Cross-mending, 46 

Crude bi faces, 35 
Crystal quartz, 27, 81 
Cunningham, Robert, 157 
Cups, 3, 6, 112, 165, 243 
Cutting tools, 27 


Dabney, Austin, 166 

Dalton spearpoints, 16-17, 25 

Dams, 44, 182, 228, 230 

Dancing, 83, 85, 109, 146, 262 

Dating methods, 27, 54, 57, 107, 
See also specific types 
Daub, 71 

David, Oscar, 233 

Davis, Jefferson, 201 

Davis, Randolph, 256, 257 

Davis family, 256, See also specific 

Deadwyler, Joseph R., 213 

De Allyon, Lucas Vazquez, 128, 

Death rates, 29, 93 

De Bry, Theodore, 142, 147 

"Debt peonage," 221 

Deciduous trees, 20, See also spe- 
cific types 

Decision making, 5,13, 88-89, 1 13 

Deer, 62 

in American Revolution Era, 162 

in Colonial Era, 139 

in Early Archaic Era, 25 

in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 

39, 41, 49 
in Middle Archaic Era, 33 
in Mississippian Era, 89, 99, 120 
slaughtering of, 139 
in Woodland Era, 63 

Defensive enclosures , See Protective 

DcKnight, William, 217 

Democratic Party, 223 

Dendrochronology (tree ring dat- 
ing), 57 

Dental problems, 120 

DePratter, Chester, 109, 132 

Deptford wares, 70 

DeSoto, Hernando, 5, 10, 130-136 

D'Estaing, Comptc, 167 

Dewberries, 97 

Diamond Springs, 175 

Diet, Sec Food 

Digging sticks, 27 

Dillard, Benny, 187 

Disappearance of populations, 7, 
101, 104, 122, 128, 129, 143 

Discolorations, Sce Postmolds;Stains 

Dishes, 242, 243, Sec also specific 


Ditches, 5, 103, 107, 126, 171, 

172, 228 
Divining the future, 144 
Dock Street Theater, 141 
Dogs, 137 

of De Soto, 130, 131 

domestication of, 36 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 61 

in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 

in Middle Archaic Era, 35, 36 

in Mississippian Era, 122 

in Post-Revolution Era, 197 

teeth from, 35 
Dooley Ferry, 205 
"Dr. King's New Discovery for 

Consumption," 210 
Drawings, 66, See also Art 
Drills, 46, 49 
Droughts, 21-22, 37, 126 
Drucker, Lesley, 209 
Drying racks, 43 
Duck River, 34 
Duke Power Company, 268 
Dunlap, 70 
Dutch, 152 

Dwellings, See Houses 
Dye, Albert, 257 
Dye, Bynum, 248, 249 
Dye, George Washington, 222, 248, 

Dye, Lucinda, 222, 248, 259 


Eagle Hill, 28 

Ear adornments, 67, 85, 94, 146 

Early Archaic Era, 19-29 

Early Paleolndian Era, 16 

Early Twentieth Century, 225-235 

Earthenware, 163, 167 

Earthlodges, 83, 84, 85, 87, 88, 89, 

91, 94, 95, 162 
Earthworks, 66, 79 
Eastern Star, 265 
Echoee village, 148 
Edinburg, Georgia, 174, 201, 225 
Elbert County, Georgia, 1, 15, 34, 
46, 54, 60, 70, 82, 104, 224, 
238, 248 
in 1930, 267, 268 
in Civil War, 205 
in Late Nineteenth Century-Early 
Twentieth Century, 228, 229 
lumber from, 263 
oral histories from, 255, 256, 

257, 259, 261, 264, 265 
in Post-Revolution Era, 177, 182, 

187, 190, 194, 196, 199 
in Reconstruction Era, 221, 222 

Elberton, Georgia, 158, 229, 233, 
246, 257, 258, 261 
in 1920, 269 
Main Street of, 270 
railroads and, 245 
in Reconstruction Era, 220 

Elberton Granite Association, 269 

Elberton Municipal Band, 261 

Elberton Star, The, 225, 230, 257, 

Elliott, Dan, 45, 46, 50 

Embargoes, 175 

English, See British 

Entrada, La, 130, 132 

Erosion, 21, 72, 91, 170, 171, 172, 
176, 182, 212, 267 

"Erosional tinderbox," 172 

Estate Lands (State Lands), 256 

Estatoe village, 128 

Ethnoarcheology, 71 

Etowah Mounds, 99, 113, 124, 125, 
127, 128 

Etowah River, 124 

Eureka Mill, 227, 228, 229, 232, 

Eureka Church (Middleton Method- 
ist Church), 238 

European evolutionary changes, 9 

Europeans, 69, 77, 83, 84, 109, 
111, 114, See also specific 
explorers, countries 
from England, See British 
French, 136 

in Mississippian Era, 92, 99 
from Spain, See Spanish 

Eva, 35-36 

Evans, Oliver, 226 

Evergreens, 20, See also specific 

Evolutionary changes, 9 

Expedient unifaces, 35 

Exposition Center, Savannah, 151 

Eyebane, 99 

Fabric, 69, 70, 85, 139, 144 
"Falcon Warrior" carving, 126 
Famine, 61 
Farmers, 248 
Fanning, 251, 257 

in 1930, 268 

in Civil War, 206 

in Colonial Era, 146 

cotton, See Cotton 

erosion caused by, 170, 171, 172, 
212, 267 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 61 

in Late Nineteenth Century-Early 
Twentieth Century, 225 

in Mississippian Era, 79, 83, 89, 
97, 103, 120 

planting vs., 195 

in Post-Revolution Era, 170, 171, 
172, 173, 181, 182, 187, 193, 

in present times, 267 

in Reconstruction Era, 218, 219- 

Russell Dam and, 270 

tenant, 212, 219-223, 239, 240, 
242, 247, 248, 258, 264, 267, 

in Transition Era, 125, 126 

tree, 268 

in Woodland Era, 63, 64, 67 
Feasting, 83 

Featherstone, Douglas, 249 
Features, See Stains 
Federal Writer's Project, WPA, 187 

Cherokee Indian, 146 

in decision making, 13 

height of, 120 

home ownership by, 112 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 56 

as leaders, 13, 77 

lineage through, 85 

as midwives, 265 

at Millwood Plantation, 189 

in Mississippian Era, 85, 91-92, 
93, 111, 112, 114, 117, 120 

in Paleolndian Era, 13 

in Post-Revolution Era, 192 

in Woodland Era, 77 
Fences, 4, 5, 103, 146, 159, 160, 

162, 171 
Ferguson-Williams Academy (Har- 
bison College), 254, 259-260 
Ferries, 205, 245, 257, See also 

specific ferries 
Fertilizer, 181 
Festivals, 104, 109 
Fibers, 54, 85 

Fiber-tempered pottery, 54, 60 
Fiber tools, 26 

Fighting, 5, 146, See also Warfare 
Figurines, 67 
Fire, 14, 22, 24, 35, 39, 40, 45, 

Fir trees, 20 

Fish hooks, 37, 46, 54, 99 
Fishing, 5, 251 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 53, 

in Late Arch. 1 

40, 41, 43, 44-45, 51 
in Middle Archaic Era, 32, 35, 

in Mississippian Era, 97-99, 120 
in present times, 267, 273 
in Woodland Era, 72 

Fission track dating, 57 

Flakes, 14, 26, 46, 49, 96, 116 

Flaking, 1 1 

Flatwoods, 256 

Flea Cave, Peru, 10 

Flint, 11, 13 

Flint River, 133 

Flooding, 21, 31, 82, 88, 235 

Floodplain, 20, 21 

Florida, See also specific places 
in Colonial Era, 139, 151 
in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 58 
Little Salt Springs in, 13 
in Mississippian Era, 79 
in Paleolndian Era, 13, 15 
in Reconstruction Era, 216 
in Transition Era, 130 
vandalism laws in, 91 
in Woodland Era, 69 

Flowerpots, 234 

Flutes (grooves) in spearpoints, 11 

Food, 5, 6, See also specific types 
in American Revolution Era, 167 
cooking of, See Cooking 
in Early Archaic Era, 24 
gathering of, 24, 32, 33, 49-50, 

53, 64, 76 
in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 53, 

60, 61 
in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 

39, 40, 43, 45, 49-50 
in Middle Archaic Era, 32, 33, 

35, 37 
in Mississippian Era, 84, 96, 97, 

116, 120 
in Paleolndian Era, 15, 16 
preservation of, 53 
storage of, 39, 67, 96, 116, 167 
in theory formation, 71 
in Woodland Era, 63, 64, 67, 70 

Forest fires, 22 

Forest Service, 91 

Fort Charlotte, 157 

Fort Delaware Federal Prison, 204 

Fort Independence, 158-159, 160, 
161, 163, 164, 166, 168, 169 

Fort Moultree, 164 

Fort Mountain, 69 

Fort Polk, 28 

Fort Prince George, 143, 145, 146, 
148, 153 

Fort Rut ledge, 160 

Forts, See also Protective cnclo 

sures; specific types 

in American Revolution, 159, 

160, 164, 165 
in Colonial Era, 143, 146, 148 
in Mississippian Era, 103, 107, 

in Transition Era, 125 
in Woodland Era, 69 

Fort Stewart, 270 

Fort Sumter, 203 

Foss, John, 37 


from Early Archaic Era, 20 
from Paleolndian Era, 9, 11 
of pollen, 20, 63, 64 
of wooly mammoths, 1 1 

Fourneyron, Benoit, 227 

Foxes, 99 

Freedmen's Bureau (Bureau of Ref- 
ugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned 
Lands), 214, 216, 217 

Freed slaves in Reconstruction Era, 

French, 136, 139, 142, 147, 167 

French Protestants (Huguenots), 152 

French Train method, 237, 239 

Frison, George, 1 1 

Fruit, 45, 64, 97, 122, 152, 162, 
184, 251, See also specific 

Frying pans, 143 

Funeral homes, 263 

Furniture, 60, 102, 144 

Furs, 139, 140 

Futato, Eugene, 131 


Games, 5, 46, 81, 82, 95, 107, 
111, 116, See also specific 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 59 
in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 

45-46, 49 
in Mississippian Era, 84, 96, 103, 

in Woodland Era, 76 
Gardner, William, 15, 16 
Garments, Sec Clothing 
Gatherings, 35, 49, 78, See also 

specific types 
Georgia, 5, 7, Sec also specific 

in American Revolution, 157, 
158, 160, 163, 164, 165, 167 
boll weevils in, 248 
in Civil War, 201, 204, 205, 211 
in Colonial Era, 140, 150, 151, 

153, 154, 155 
in Early Archaic Era, 28 
first millionaire in, 172 
founding of, 172 
in Late Archaic Era, 30, 40, 45, 

46, 51, 52, 53, 59 
in Middle Archaic Era, 30, 32, 

34, 35 
in Mississippian Era, 79, 83, 84 
in Paleolndian Era, 13, 15 
in Post-Revolution Era, 171, 173, 

174, 176, 181, 184, 185, 190, 

194, 195-198 
in Reconstruction Era, 216, 221, 

•m 113 

in Transition Era, 125, 126, 128, 

130, 131, 132, 133, 136 
in Woodland Era, 67-69, 74, 77 
Georgia and Carolina Gazette, Tlie, 

Georgia-Carolina Memorial Bridge, 

245, 246 
Georgia State University, 124 
Georgia Volunteer Infantry, 200 
Germans, 152 
Ghost towns, 171, 174, Sec also 

specific towns 
Giant land tortoises, 15, 22 
Glaciers, 9, 10, 61 
Glass, 139, 144, 146, 240, 243 
Glen, James, 146, 148 
Global warming, 37 
Gold mining, 237, 238 
Good luck charms, 144 
Good Samaritans, 265 
Goodyear, Albert, 50, 60 
Gorgets, 85, 86, 87, 92, 96, 99 
Gourds, 103 

Governmental centers, 84, 111 
Grains, 152. 163, 225, 228, 268, 

284, Sec also specific types 
Grains of pollen, 20, 21, 63, 64 
Granite, 24, 27. 238, 242. 257, 

266, 268-270 
Grant, Ulysses S., 203, 217 
Grapes, 64, 97, 122. 152, 162, 184 
Graphite, 96 
Gravers. 26, 27 
Gray, Gilbert. 259 
Gray, Marlcssa, 194, 206, 251 
Gray-Heardmont Mill. 232 
Gray Mill. 228 
Great Depression. 251 
Great Georgians, 158 
Great Lakes, 66 
Great Philadelphia Wagon Road, 

152, 153 
Green Corn Ceremony, 83 
Greene, Nathanael, 168 


Gregg Shoals site, 23, 25, 27, 31, 
34, 35, 56, 61, 120, 247 

Grenville, Richard, 142 

Gresham, Tom, 14 

Grist mills, 227, 231 

Grit, 70 

Grogan, Elmira, 242 

Grogan, John Henry, 228, 229, 
238, 240 

Grogan, Leela, 228 

Grogan family, 240-242, See also 
specific members 

Grogan House, 240, 241, 242, 243 

Ground sloths, 15 

G.S. Lewis site, 67 

Guilford spearpoints, 37 

Gulf of Mexico, 13, 58, 66, 69, 77 

Gullies, 171, 268 

Gully, Clyde, 79 

Gum trees, 20 

Guns, 139, 140, 146, 153 


Habersham, James, 173 

HABS, See Historical American 
Buildings Survey 

Haddon, Ursula Mae, 260 

Hair decoration, 87, 92 

Hair plucking, 146 

Hall County, Georgia, 231 

Hally, David, 83, 89, 95, 96 

Hammerstones, 14, 27, 35, 46, 95 

Hammond, James Henry, 172 

Hampton, Janie, 258, 259 

Hanson, Glen, 24, 28, 61 

Harbison, Samuel P., 260 

Harbison College, Ferguson-Will- 
iams Academy, 254, 259-260 

Harbors, 103 

Hardwood trees, 22, See also specif- 
ic types 

Harmon, Michael, 143 

Harper, Alice, 249 

Harper, Clarence, 249 

Harper, Henry, 201, 202-203, 204, 
206, 249 

Harper, Jane (Jenny) Harris, 201, 

Harper, Jennie, 249 

Harper, Lyndsey, 201-202 

Harper, Weston, 249 

Harper family, 201-205, 240, 249, 
See also specific members 

Harper-Featherstone House, 240 

Harper House, 241 

Harper Plantation, 245 

Harper's Bottom, 70-72 

Harper's Ferry, 60, 205, 240, 245 

Harris, Jane (Jenny) (Mrs. Lyndsey 
Harper), 201, 202 

Hart, Benjamin, 158, 165, 166 

Hart, Morgan, 165 

Hart, Nancy, 156, 157-158, 165, 

Hart County, Georgia, 158, 176, 
187, 200, 267, 270 

Hartwell, Georgia, 158 

Haw River, 24 

Hayes, Rutherfod B., 223 

Headdresses, 85, 88, 94, 127, 251 

Head shaping, 92 

Heard, Eugene, 229 

Heard, Stephen, 172, 221, 222, 
229, 231 

Heardmont, Georgia, 221, 222, 
229, 245, 248, 249, 259 

Heardmont Mills, 228, 229, 231, 

Heardmont Plantation, 172 

Hearths, 45, 46, 71, 102, 114 

Height, 120 

Hematite, 97 

Hemlock trees, 20 

Henry Grogan House, 243 

Henry's Chapel, 230 

Herbs, 20, 39 

"Hermit of Millwood," See Cal- 
houn, James Edward 

Hickory nuts, 5, 33, 35, 45, 50-51, 
64, 97, 122 

Hickory trees, 20, 39, 40, 122 

Highways, 245 

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, 

Historical American Buildings Sur- 
vey (HABS), 240, 242 

History Group research organiza- 
tion, 213, 255 

Hobbs, Leela Grogan, 228 

Holly, 6, 112, 184 

Hollywood Mound, 125 

Homesteads, 89, 104, See also 

Hooks, 37, 46, 54, 99 

Hopewellian culture, 66, 67 

Horses, 128, 136, 146, 147 

Hot house (rotunda) council house, 
107-109, 110 

House, John, 50 

Houses, 6 
in American Revolution Era, 162 
"boat" of Calhoun, 183-184 
in Colonial Era, 144, 147 
in Early Archaic Era, 24, 26 
female ownership of, 112 
at Fort Independence, 168, 169 
in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 

39, 40, 43, 44, 45, 46 
in Middle Archaic Era, 32 
in Mississippian Era, 83, 89, 95, 
96, 102, 103, 104, 107, 112, 
114, 116-117 
in Paleolndian Era, 9 
in Post-Revolution Era, 189, 

of slaves, 189 
summer, 6, 114, 116 
tenant, 219 
winter, 6, 114, 116 
in Woodland Era, 64-65, 66, 70- 
72, 76 
Hudson, Callie May, 231 
Hudson, Carrie, 190, 192 
Hudson, Carroll Mary, 269 
Hudson, Charles, 83, 84, 132, 139 
Hudson, Charlie, 187, 190 
Huguenots (French Protestants), 152 
Hunting, 5 

in Colonial Era, 139, 143, 146 
in Early Archaic Era, 22, 23, 24, 

25, 26 
in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 53, 

56, 59 
in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 

39, 40, 41, 43, 45, 49, 51 
in Middle Archaic Era, 32, 33, 

34, 36, 37 
in Mississippian Era, 81, 89, 93, 

99, 103, 120, 122 
in Paleolndian Era, 9, 11-13, 13, 

15, 16, 17 
in Transition Era, 126 
in Woodland Era, 63, 76 
Hutchison, Bandon, 197, 198, 268 
Hutchison, Katherine, 197, 198, 268 
Hutchison, Robert, 201 
Hutchison family, 201, 269, See 

also specific members 
Hutchison, Robert Barney, 201 
Hypisthermal, 37 
Hypothesizing, 71 


Ice Age, 9, 11, 15, 20 

Ice houses, 183 

Igneous rocks, 19, 49 

Illinois, 36, 66, 79 

Illinois River, 36 

Indiana, 61, 69 

Indian Congress, 150, 151 

Indians, See specific tribes 

Indigo, 152 

Industrialization , 1 74, 225 , 229-230, 
237, 247, 270, Sec also spe- 
cific indu> 

Industrial Revolution, 225 
Interagency Archeological Services 
Division, National Park Service, 
Irene ceremonial center, 125 
Irish, 152 
Irish wolfhounds of De Soto, 130, 

Irmo, South Carolina, 261 
Iron, 226 

Iroquoi Indians, 143 
Iva, 245 

Jackson, Andrew, 155 

Jackson, Thomas "Stonewall," 203 

James White House, 249 

Jars, 71,72, 76, 96, 100, 114, 117, 

167, 234 
Jasper, 59 

Jeane, Gregory, 229 
Jefferson, Thomas, 57, 150 
Jewelry, See also specific types 
in Colonial Era, 139, 143, 146 
in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 54 
in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 

in Middle Archaic Era, 35, 36, 

in Mississippian Era, 85, 86, 87, 

92, 94, 96 
in Woodland Era, 67 
Joseph, J. W., 2, 150, 196, 206, 

Jugs, 143, 234 


Reiser, Edward, 243 
Kentucky, 13, 61, 69, 70 
Keowee Path (Cherokee Path), 143, 

Keowee River, 143 
Keowee town, 146, 153 
Kettle Creek, 165 
Kettle Creek Battle, 168 
Kettles, 143 

Kirk spearpoints, 25, 26 
Kitchens, 114 
KKK, See Ku Klux Klan 
Knives, 26, 35, 39, 46 
Kolomoki site, 77 
Koster, Illinois, 36 
Ku Klux Klan (KKK), 217, 261 

Lacrosse, 81, 107 

Lady of Cofitachequi, 134, 136 
Land clearing, 39, 45, 49, 97, 171, 

172, 176 
Larsen, Clark, 77 
Larson, Lewis, 125 
Late Archaic Era, 30, 37, 38, 69 

Ceramic, 53-61 

Preceramic, 39-51 
Late Nineteenth Century, 225-235 
Late Paleolndian Era, 16, 25 
Leaders, See also specific leaders, 


in Colonial Era, 140, 146, 148, 
151, 153 

death of, 77 

De Soto and, 132, 136 

Elberton's Black, 258 

females as, 13, 77 

in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 

in Mississippian Era, 77, 79, 83, 
84-85, 87, 88-89, 90, 109- 
111, 113 

in Transition Era, 126, 129, 132, 

in Woodland Era, 77 
Ledbetter, Jerald, 59, 126 
Lee, Lighthorse Harry, 168 
Lee, Robert E., 168, 201, 203, 204 
Levees, 20-21, 23, 39, 40, 45 
Lewis, G. S., 23 
Life spans, 27, 29, 120 
Limestone, 67 
Lincoln, Abraham, 217 
Lincoln, Benjamin, 167 
Lincoln County, Georgia, 264 
Lindbergh, Charles, 245 
Lisbon, Georgia, 174 
Little Salt Springs, 13 
"Liver regulator," 210 
Livestock, 162, 171, 173 
Log tombs, 66 
Long Canes Creek, 143, 150, 163, 

Louisiana, 28, 58, 59, 65, 142, 
184, 215, 237, See ajso spe- 
cific places 
Lower Cherokees, 143, 147, 148, 

153, 154, 160 
Lowndes, William, 174 
Lowndcsville, South Carolina, 174- 

175, 176, 201, 245-246 
"Loxotising" (contour plowing), 182 
Loyalists, See British Loyalists 
Loyola University, 178 
Lumber mills, 263, 264 
Lynchings, 261 

Lyndscy Harper Plantation, 202 
Lyttlcton, William Henry, 148 


Mabila settlement, 136 
MacAdams, Elbert, 216 
Macon, Georgia, 83, 84, 133 
Madison, Georgia, 133 
Malvern Hill, 204 
Mammoths, 11-13, 15, 17, 22 
Mandeville, Georgia, 67, 68 
Manos, 46 
Manufacturing, 26, 46, 270, See 

also Industrialization 
Marble, 128, 266 
Marion, Francis, 168 
Marquardt, William, 27, 35, 79 
Marshall Plan, 214 
Masks, 66 
Masons, 265 

Mating, 27-29, 35, 53, 112 
Mattox, William, 227, 228, 229 
Mattox Mill, 227-228, 230. 232 
Maygrass seeds, 97 
Maypop fruit, 45, 64, 97, 122 
McCalla, George. 206, 208, 229, 

McCalla, Isaac, 248, 249 
McCalla, John, 205-206, 229, 248, 

McCalla, Mary Jane, 208 
McCalla Bottoms, 34, 35, 54, 56, 

57, 59 
McCalla family, 205-208, 248, See 

also specific members 
McCalla Island, 228 
McCalla State Park, 273 
McClellan, John B, 201 
McCormick County, 268 
McGowan, John, 225 
McGowan's Ferry, 227 
Mclntire, Annie, 265 
Mclntire, Henry, 263, 264 
McKinney, Addison Reynolds, 263 
McKinncy, Janesta. 263 
Mead Paper Company, 268 
Medicines, 99, 210 
Memphis, Tennessee, 79 
Menstruation, 114 
Metals, 139, 143, 144, 146, See 

also specific types 
Mctamorphic rocks, 19, 32, 45 
Mctavolcanic rocks, 46, 59 
Mexico, 61 
Mica, 67, 96. 135 
Micco, 1 12 
Midden, 45-46, 49, 59, See also 

Middle Archaic Era, 29, 30, 31-37 
Middle Cherokees. 143. 148 
Middleton, Georgia, 245, 247 
Middlcton Methodist Church (Eurc- 


ka Church), 238 
Midway Plantation, 182, 195 
Midwives, 265 
Milk glass quartz, 25 
Milledgeville, Georgia, 133, 174 
Miller, Zell, 158 
Millrace ditches, 228 
Mills, 174, 225-226, 256, 263, See 
also specific mills, types 
cotton, 228, 235, 246 
grist, 227, 231 

in Late Nineteenth Century-Early 
Twentieth Century, 227, 228, 
229,230, 231,232,233, 235 
saw, 263, 264 
textile, 174, 175, 229, 235 
Millwood Plantation, 237, 242, 255, 
256, 258, 268, See also Cal- 
houn, James Edward 
in Civil War, 211 
house on, 209 
medicine bottles from, 210 
in Post-Revolution Era, 170, 180, 

181-185, 188, 189, 195 
in Reconstruction Era, 215, 216, 

217, 218, 219, 223 
tenant farming at, 239 
view from, 211 
Mirrors, 146 
Mississippi, 139, 142, 175, 184, 

See also specific places 
Mississippian Era 

900-1300 A.D., 77, 79-101 
1300-1450 A.D., 103-124 
arrowheads from, 133 
burials in, 81-82, 85-87, 89, 90, 

91-94, 101, 116-120 
ceremonial centers in, 81-82, 84, 

87, 89, 101, 120 
clothing in, 87, 94, 114-116 
farming in, 79, 83, 89, 97, 103, 

fishing in, 97-99, 120 
houses in, 83, 89, 95, 96, 102, 
103, 104, 107, 112, 114, 116, 
hunting in, 81, 89, 93, 99, 103, 

120, 122 
leaders in, 77, 83, 84-85, 87, 

88-89, 111, 113 
population size in, 79 
Mississippi River, 13, 79, 185 
Missouri, 16, 79 
Missouri River, 13, 79 
Mobile, Alabama, 69 
Molasses, 237, 239 
Mollusks, 53, 61 
Montana, 11 
Moore, Josselyn, 122 

Moore, Shirley, 255 

Morrow, Robert, 245 

Morrow Mountain spearpoints, 32, 

33, 34 
Morse, Dan, 16 
Morse, Phyllis, 16 
Mosley Ferry, 205 
Mounds, See also specific mounds 

in Colonial Era, 146 

in Mississippian Era, 79, 81-82, 
85-86, 88-89, 90-91, 93, 95, 
111, 116-117 

in Transition Era, 125, 126, 131, 

in Woodland Era, 65-67, 76, 77 
Mound State Monument, 131 
Moundville, 131 
Mr. Lee's School (Calhoun Falls 

Mission School), 259 
Mulberries, 184 
Munsell color chart, 65 
Musical instruments, 67 
Muskrats, 25 
Mussels, 36, 53, 61 


Nails, 166 

Nancy Hart Highway, 158 

Napier designs, 74 

National Park Service, 2, 91, 104, 

National Register of Historic Places, 

201, 271 
Necklaces, 35, 85, 87, 143 
Needles, 144 
Nellie, Buck, 264 
Nets, 99 

Netsinkers, 45, 46 
Neuse River, 28 
New Echota, 154 
New England, 140, 175 
Newman, Robert, 226 
New Mexico, 11 
"New Purchase," 150 
New York, 245 
Ninety Six Militia, 160, 163, 165, 

167, 168 
Ninety Six trading post, 152-153, 

157, 162, 166, 168 
Nodes, 114 
North Carolina, 24, 28, 32, 67, 91 , 

134, 136, See also specific 

Norwood, Floread, 259 
Norwood, Marie, 259 
Novick, Andrea Lee, 49, 71 
Nuts, See also specific types 
in American Revolution Era, 162 

hickory, 5, 33, 35, 45, 50-51, 64, 

97, 122 
in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 

45, 50-51 
in Middle Archaic Era, 33, 35 
in Mississippian Era, 97, 122 
in Post-Revolution Era, 184 
in Woodland Era, 64 


Oak trees, 20, 22, 40, 122 

Oats, 184 

Obsidian, 66 

Ocher, 96 

Ocmulgee National Monument, 78, 

83, 84, 85 
Ocmulgee River, 28 
Oconee River, 17, 76, 133, 171 
Ocute Indians, 126, 133, 134 
Odd Fellows, 265 
Oglethorpe, James Edward, 148, 

150, 172 
Ohio, 13, 65, 66, 69 
Oklahoma, 79, 155 
Old Capitol Prison, 204 
"Old Dan Tucker," 205 
"Old Quartz Culture," 32 
Olivet", A. S., 264 
Oliver, Dionysus, 173 
Olmsted, Frederick Law, 189, 191, 

Opossums, 25 
Orange sprouts, 184 
Orser, Charles, 178, 215, 237 
O'Steen, Lisa, 17 
Osteomyelitis, 87 
Osteophytes, 120 
Ovens, 64, 65 
Overfull Cherokees, 143 

Paint, 67, 71, 96, 128 
Paint brushes, 97 
Paleolndian Era, 9-17 

Early, 16 

Early Archaic Era compared to, 
19, 20, 23 

Late, 16, 25 

Middle Archaic Era compared to, 
Palmer spearpoints, 24, 25, 26 
Paris Island South, 38, 45, 46, 47, 

48, 49, 50, 51 
Parsnips, 1 14 
Passion flower, 45 
Patofa, 133, 134 
"Patrol," 194 

Peaches, 162, 184, 251 

Pearle Mill, 224, 229, 230, 231- 
233, 234-235 

Pearls, 135, 136 

Pearlware, 183 

Pecans, 184 

Pemmican, 178 

Pendants, 36, 46, 54, 85, 87, 96, 

Pennsylvania, 9, 160 

Perfume, 99 

Perico, 131-132, 133. 134 

Persimmons, 64, 97, 162 

Peru, 10 

Petersburg, Georgia, 171, 172, 173, 
174, 175, 185 

Petersburg, Virginia, 204 

Pewter, 143 

Phosphate, 49 

Pickens, Andrew, 165, 168 

Pieces esquilles, 26, 27 

Pigeons, 99 

Pigments, 96-97 

Pine pollen, 97 

Pine trees, 20, 22, 39, 122 

Pipes, 67, 81, 95, 98, 113, 125, 

Pitchers, 234 


cooking, 39, 40, 46, 53 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 53 

in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 

39, 40, 46 
in Middle Archaic Era, 35 
in Mississippian Era, 89, 107 
storage, 35, 39, 46, 69, 72, 76 
in Woodland Era, 69, 72, 76 

Pitted rocks, 27, 60 

Pitted stones, 46 

Plagues, 135 

Plantations, 172, 175, 178, 181, 
187, 189, 193, 242, See also 
specific plantations 
in Civil War, 206, 207 
in Reconstruction Era, 216, 219, 

Planters, 195, 209, 215, 218, 225, 
242, See also Farming; specif- 
ic people 

Plants, 5, 20, 24, 60, 61, 63, 64, 
See also specific types 

Plates, 242, 243 

Platte River, 13 

Pleistocene Age, 9 

"Ploughing Cotton, Columbus, GA" 
postcard, 186 

Plowing, 171. 182 

Plums, 97 

Points, Sec Spearpoints 

Poison, 99 

Polished stones, 37 

Political constructions, 82-83, 84 

Political organization, 79, 83, 103, 

111, 154 
Pollen, 20, 21, 63, 64, 93, 97 
Population size 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 60, 

in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 

in Middle Archaic Era, 33, 35 
in Mississippian Era, 79 
in Post-Revolution Era, 176, 2173 
in Reconstruction Era, 220 
in Transition Era, 125-126 
in Woodland Era, 63, 69, 70 
Porcelain, 163 

from American Revolution Era, 

from Late Archaic Preceramic 

Era, 40, 43, 44, 46 
from Mississippian Era, 85, 89, 

90, 92, 95, 113-114 
from Rucker's Bottom, 113-114 
at Sara's Ridge, 43, 44 
from Woodland Era, 64, 72 
Post-Revolution Era, 170, 171-185, 
Calhoun (James Edward) in, 170, 
176, 178, 179-185, i88-189 
fanning in, 170, 171, 172, 173, 

181, 182, 187, 193, 198 
houses in, 189, 195-198 
personal experiences of slavery 

in, 187-198 
population size in, 176, 2173 
trade in, 172 
Potherbs, 97, See also specific types 
Potomac River, 152 

in Colonial Era, 143 

Deptford, 70 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 56, 

58, 60 
in Late Nineteenth Century-Early 
Twentieth Century, 233, 234 
in Mississippian Era, 84, 96, 100, 

103, 117. 118, 120, 123 
in Woodland Era, 70, 71, 76 
Potsherds, See Sherds 
Pottery, See also Ceramics 
Cartersville, 70, 72, 73 
fabric woven, 69, 70 
fiber-tempered, 54, 60 
in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 

53-61, 69 
in Late Nineteenth Century-Early 

Twentieth Century, 233, 234 

in Mississippian Era, 79-81, 95, 

96, 99-100, 107, 114, 115, 


punch-and-drag style of, 57, 60, 

punctations in, 114, 115, 117, 

red-painted, 67, 71 
Refuge, 69 
sand-tempered, 60 
spread of, 58 
in theory formation, 71 
Thorn's Creek Series of, 60 
in Transition Era, 126 
in Woodland Era, 67, 69, 70, 
Poverty Point, 58, 65 
Preceramic Late Archaic Era, 39-51 
Presbyterian Church, 254, 259, 260 
Preservation methods for sites, 91 
Pressley, Lillie, 261, 265 
Pressley's Post Office, See also 

Lowndesville, South Carolina 
Prince Medoc of Wales, 69 
Prismatic blades, 67 
Proprietors in Charleston, 139, 140 
Protective enclosures, 4, 5, See also 
specific types 
in American Revolution, 159, 

160, 162, 164, 165 
in Colonial Era, 143, 146, 148 
in Mississippian Era, 79, 103, 

107, 109, 120 
in Transition Era, 125, 126 
in Woodland Era, 69 
Prunty, Merle, 194, 219 
"Puc Puggy" (Flower Hunter), 152 
Punch-and-drag style of pottery, 57, 

60, 69 
Punctations in pottery, 57, 58, 60, 

114, 115, 117, 120 
Purslane, 97 
Putnam County, Georgia, 67-69 


Quarries, 50, 268-269 

cold cream jar, 25 

crystal, 27, 81 

in Early Archaic Era, 24, 25, 26, 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 59 
in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 

45, 46 
in Middle Archaic Era, 32, 33, 

milk glass, 25 


in Mississippian Era, 81, 95 
in Paleolndian Era, 17 
spearpoints made of, 32 


in Woodland Era, 63, 69 
Quartz crystals, 144 
Quilts, 269 


Rabbits, 25, 99, 162 

Racoons, 25 

Radiocarbon dating, 27, 54, 57, 107 

Ragweed, 45 

Railroads, 174, 185, 237, 244, 245, 

246, 247, 252-253, 258 
Rainfall, 126 

Ramsey, Eleanor Mason, 255, 256 
Ranjel, Rodrigo, 132, 134 
Raspberries, 97 
Rattlesnakes, 35, 151 
Razors, 146 
Rebuilding, 44 
Reconstruction Era, 204, 209, 213- 

223, 249 
Red jasper, 59 
Red-painted pottery, 67, 71 
Red River, 13, 28 
Refuge pottery, 69 
Refuse, See Garbage; Midden 
Reitz, Elizabeth, 135 
Religion, 31, 65, 67, 69, 83, 84, 

96, 103, 261 
Rembert ceremonial center, 101, 

103, 125 
Reoccupations, 44 
Replanting of seeds, 63 
Republican Party, 217, 223 
Revolutionary War, See American 

Reynolds, Grace, 259, 264 
Reynolds, Spearman Edwards, 264 
Rice, 173, 175, 194 
Richmond, Virginia, 203 
Rituals, 3, 5-6, 31, 67, 77, 79, 83, 
87, 88, See also Ceremonies; 
specific types 
Roads, 245 
Roasting, 60, 99 
Rock Eagle formation, 69 
Rocks, See also Stones; specific 


chert, See Chert 

choice of, 59 

containers from, 56 

from Early Archaic Era, 23 

igneous, 19, 49 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 59 

in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 

45, 49 

metamorphic, 19, 32, 45 

metavolcanic, 46, 59 

in Middle Archaic Era, 33, 34 

pitted, 27, 46, 60 

quartz, See Quartz 

sedimentary, 19-20 

slate-like, 59 

in Woodland Era, 64 
Rocky River, 158, 159, 161, 205 
Rocky River Post Office, See also 

Lowndesville, South Carolina 
Rocky River site, 38, 47, 49, 50, 

51, 71, 72 
Rogers & Calhoun, 209 
Roland, Charles P., 267 
Roofs, 113 
Rotunda (hot house) council house, 

107-109, 110 
Royston, Georgia, 238 
Rucker, Grace, 205 
Rucker, J. D., 205 
Rucker, John, 172, 263 
Rucker, Joseph, 172, 190 
Rucker family, 172, See also specif- 
ic members 
Rucker's Bottom, 6, 7, 15, 104, 
108, 122 

artifacts at, 117 

artist depiction of, 104-105 

bones at, 117 

ceramics at, 121 

in Early Archaic Era, 25, 26, 28 

food at, 120 

games at, 111 

health of residents at, 120 

houses at, 116 

kitchens at, 114 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 54, 
57, 60 

leaders at, HI, 112 

in Middle Archaic Era, 34, 35 

postmolds from, 113-114 

pots from, 123 

pottery from, 57 

protective enclosures at, 107, 125 

site drawing of, 110 

toolmaking at, 116 

in Woodland Era, 72, 74, 76 
Ruckersville, Georgia, 172 
Rudolph, James, 83, 89, 95 
Rudolph, Teresa, 76 
Rulers, See Leaders 
Rum, 146 

Russell, Richard B., 1 
Russell Cave, 36 
Rye, 173, 184 

"S. Barker," 164 

Sabine River, 28 

Salicin, 99 

Salt Cave, Kentucky, 69, 70 

Saluda River, 134 

Sand, 60, 70, 84 

Sand-tempered pottery, 60 

Sara's Ridge, 38, 40-46, 43, 44, 47, 
50, 51 

Sassafras tree bark, 99 

Sassaman, Kenneth, 33, 35, 46, 58 

Saucers, 243 

Savannah, Georgia, 125, 150, 152, 
163, 165, 201 

Savannah River Power Company, 

Savannah River Stemmed (Broad- 
point) spearpoints, 59, 60 

Saw mills, 263, 264 

Saws, 26 

Saxon, Rufus B., 216 

Scarification (skin scratching), 81 

Schiffer, Michael, 16 

Schuldenrein, Joseph, 37, 49, 107 

Scissors, 144 

Scotch, 152, 174 

Scotch-Irish, 152 

Scraping tools, 26, 34, 46, 71, 144 

Sculpture, 69, 77, 81 

Seaboard Air Line, 245 

Seaboard Railroad, 252, 269 

Sea level, 37, 61 

Seashells, See Shells 

Sedimentary rocks, 19-20, See also 
specific types 

Sedimentation, 21 

Seeds, See also specific types 
in American Revolution Era, 162 
in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 61 
in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 

maygrass, 97 
maypop, 45, 64 
in Mississippian Era, 97 
replanting of, 63 
sumpweed, 97 
sunflower, 97 
in Woodland Era, 63, 64 

Segovia, Antonio, 21, 22 

Segregation, 264 

Sequoyah, 154-155 

Seton, Ernest Thompson, 251 

Shad, 44-45 

Sharecropping, 219-220, 257, See 
also Tenant farming 

Shark teeth, 66 

Sharpsburg battle (Antietam battle), 


Shawano Indians, 143, 147 

Shaw University Medical School, 

Sbeehan, Mark, 20 
Shellfish, 32, 51, 53. 61, 72. 120, 

See also specific types 

in Colonial Era, 139 

MS cups, 3, 6 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 53, 
54, 61 

in Mississippian Era, 85-88, 92, 
96, 99, 101, 1 12, 117, 122 

in Transition Era, 135 

in Woodland Era, 66, 72 
Shenandoah Valley. 152, 203 
Sherds (potsherds) 

in American Revolution Era, 164 

in Colonial Era, 143 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 53, 
54, 55, 56, 58 

in Mississippian Era, 79, 100, 

in theory formation, 71 

in Woodland Era, 74, 76 
Sherman, William Teeumseh, 201 
Shipping crates, 144 
Shoes, 69-70 
Shouldcrbonc site, 133 
Shrubs, 20 
Siberia, 9 
Sifting screens, 77 
Silkworms, 152 

Silver Bluff ceremonial center, 125 
Simkins, Maria Edgeworth (Mrs. 

James Edward Calhoun), 182-183 
Simpson's Field, 64, 65, 66, 72-74, 

76. 117, 118 
Single pole gome, 107 
Siouai) Indians, 143 
Six Flags site (9FU14), 76 
Skin scratching (scarification), 81 
Slate like rocks, 59 
Slavery, 128, 130. 132. 138 

in Colonial Era, 139, 140. 148 

people Freed from, 213-223 

personal experiences of. 187-198 

in Post Revolution Era, 172-173, 

175. 176, 178. 185 
personal experiences of, 187-198 
Sloths. 15 
Smallpox, 143 
Smith, Marion, 143. I (>4 
Smith, Marvin, 132 
Smoking pipes, 67, 81.95.98. 1 13, 

125, 146 
Soapstone, 39, 41. 45. 46. 47. 50. 

56. 59. 95 
Social clubs. 265 

Social strata, 79. 89. 96. 172. 174. 

See also specific types 


acidic. 10-11. 21 

erosion of, 21. 72. 91. 170. 171. 

172. 176, 182, 212. 267 
examination of, 10-11. 21. 22. 27 

layering of. 82 
mineral content of, 21 
in Mississippian Era, 82, 101 
stratigraphy of. 10-11, 27 
in Woodland Era, 64 
Sol Legate Island, 40 
Sorghum cane, 237 
Soups, 96. 97. 99 
South, Stanley, 164 
South America, 10, See also specific 

South Carolina. 5. 243, 249, See- 
also ipecific places 
in American Revolution, 157, 
158. 159. 160. 161, 163, 167. 
168, 169 
Beaufort District of, 203 
boll weevils in, 248 
in Civil War, 201,202,203,208. 

in Colonial Era. 139-143. US- 
ISO. 151. 152, 153 
in Early Archaic Era, 23, 28 
in Late Archaic Era, 30, 40, 51. 

52, 54. 60 
in Middle Archaic Era, 30, 32, 

34, 35 
in Mississippian Era, 117 
in Paleolndian Era, 13. 15 
in Post-Revolution Era, 171, 173, 
174, 175. 176, 181. 182, 184, 
185, 189, 
190, 195-198 
in Reconstruction Era, 214, 216. 

217, 223 
in Transition Era, 125, 126, 128. 

130. 132. 134. 136 
in Woodland Era. 64. 71, 74 
South Carolina Rangers, 157 
Southeastern Ceremonial Complex 

(Southern Cull). 87 
Southern Methodist University, 71 
Spanish. 7. 10. 69. 111. 128-136. 
See als o specific explorers 

Spearpoints, See also tpecific types 

bifurcate. 29 

Broadpoini — Savannah Ri\cr 

Stemmed, 59, 60 
by products of production of, 26 

Clovis. 11 13, 15. 16. 37 

Dalton. 16-17. 25 

in Early Archaic Era. 25. 26. 29 

flutes (grooves) in, 1 1 

Guilford. 37 

Kirk, 25, 26 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era. 59. 
60. 61 

in Late Archaic Prcceramic Era. 
46. 49 

in Middle Archaic Era. 32. 33, 
34. 35. 36. 37 

Morrow Mountain. 32, 33, 34 

in Paleolndian Era. 11-13. 14. 
15, 16-17, 33 

Palmer, 24, 25. 26 

quart/. 32 

Savannah River Stemmed (Broad- 
poini). 59. 60 

Stanly Stemmed. 32 

in theory formation. 71 

in Woodland Era. 63 
Si>ear shafts. 27 
Speaithrowers (atlatles), 36-37 
Spikemoss, 93 
Spirits. 31. 84 
Spoons, 96 

Spotsylvania. Virginia. 203 
Springs. 22 
Spruce trees. 20 
Squash, 63. 64. 97 
Squirrels. 25. 99 
St. Catherine's Island. 77 
St John's River, 58 
St. Louis. Missouri. 79 
Stabilization methods for sites. 91 
Stained glass, 240. 243 
Stains, See also Postmolds 

from Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 

from Late Archaic Prcceramic 
Era, 40, 43. 45-46 

from Middle Archaic Era. 35 

from Mississippian Era, 104. 107. 

from Woodland Era, 64. 69. 72 
Stalling! Island. 51, 53, 54. 58. 61 
Stamp Act. 157 

Stanlield -Worlex rock shelter. 36 
Stanly Stemmed ipearpoints, 32 
Starr. 245. 246 

State Lands i Estate Lands). 256 
Steamboats. 174 
Steam houses. 1 14 
Steward. Austin. 188. 190. 191. 

Stews. 40. S3, 60. 97. 99 
Stockades, 103. 159, 160. 162, 164 
Stonemasonry, 268 

Stones. 9, Sec also Rocks 
bird shape made with. 69 
boiling. 45. 53, 56. 60. 95 


in Colonial Era, 139, 144 

in Early Archaic Era, 26 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 53, 
56, 60 

in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 
39, 40, 45, 46, 49 

in Middle Archaic Era, 33, 35, 

in Mississippian Era, 95, 98, 1 17 

in Paleolndian Era, 11 

pitted, 27, 46, 60 

polished, 37 

tablets made from, 66 

in theory formation, 71 

tools made from, 1 1 , 26, 33, 35, 
39, 40, 45, 46, 49, 71, 117, 

in Woodland Era, 67, 69 
Stoneware, 163 

Storage pits, 35, 39, 46, 69, 72, 76 
Store rooms (barbacoas), 114 
Storms, 31 

Stratigraphy of soil, 10-11, 27 
Strawberries, 97 
Stripping tools, 33 
Stuart, James "Jeb," 203 
Sugar, 211, 237, 252 
Sugar Act, 157 
Summer houses, 6, 114, 116 
Sumpwccd, 63-64, 97 
Sumter, Thomas, 168 
Sunflowers, 63, 64, 97 
Surgery, 93 

"Swamp Fox," See Marion, Francis 
Sweeney, Charlotte, 257, 259 
Sweetgum trees, 99 
Sweet potatoes, 173 
Swift, James, 229 
Swift, Thomas, 229, 230 
Swift, William, 229, 230-231 
Swift Creek designs, 74, 75 


Tablets, 66 

Taboos, 31 

Tait, Charles, 174 

Talimeco, 135 

Tallahassee, Florida, 130 

Tampa Bay, Florida, 130 

Tanner's Mill, 231 

Tarleton, Banastre, 167, 168 

Tattooing, 81 

Taxation, 157 

Taylor, Richard, 143, 164 

Tea, 3, 5-6, 112, 113, 185 

Tea Act, 157 

Teeth, 35, 61, 66 

Temples, 65, 67, 77 

Tenant farming, 212, 219-223, 239, 
240, 242, 247, 248, 258, 264, 
267, 268, See also Sharecropping 
Tennessee, See also specific places 

in Colonial Era, 154 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 58, 

in Middle Archaic Era, 32, 34, 
35, 36, 37 

in Mississippian Era, 79 

in Paleolndian Era, 13, 15 

in Woodland Era, 67 
Tennessee River, 35 
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), 

Terraces. 20-21, 23, 37 
Texas, 33, 79, 155, 185, 248 
Textile mills, 174, 175, 229, 235 
Theft of artifacts, 91, 131 
Theory origination, 71 
Thermoluminescencc dating, 57 
Thomas, David, 77 
Thompson, James, 264, 265 
Thompson, Lloyd, 264 
Thorn's Creek Scries of pottery, 60 
Tigers, 151 
Tin, 143 

Tippitt, Ann, 27, 35, 79 
Tire factories, 257 
Tobacco. 113, 146. 173, 174 
Tools, Sec also specific types 

in American Revolution Era, 164 

biface, 35 

bone, 26, 36, 37, 54, 95 

in Colonial Era, 139, 144 

cutting, 27 

in Early Archaic Era, 24-28 

fiber, 26 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 54, 

in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 
39, 40, 45, 46, 49 

in Middle Archaic Era, 32, 33, 
35, 36, 37 

in Mississippian Era, 90, 95, 1 16, 

in Paleolndian Era, 11, 16 

scraping, 26, 34, 46, 71, 144 

stone, 11,26,33,35,39,40,45, 
46, 49, 71, 117. 139 

stripping, 33 

in theory formation, 71 

uniface, 35 

wielding, 27 

wood, 26, 27, 36, 45, 46 

in Woodland Era, 69 
Tortoises, 15, 22 
Townshend Act, 157 

in Colonial Era, 139, 140, 142, 

143, 146, 147, 153 
in Early Archaic Era, 26 
in Late Archaic Era, 37, 46, 58, 

in Middle Archaic Era, 33 
in Paleolndian Era, 15 
in Post-Revolution Era, 172 
in Transition Era, 126 
in Woodland Era, 66, 67, 69 

"Trail of Tears," 155 

Trains, See Railroads 

Transition Era, 125-136 

Traps, 99 

Tree farming, 268 

Tree ring dating (dendrochronolo- 

gy). 57 

Tree Ring Laboratory, University of 

Arkansas, 126 
Trees, See also specific types 

beech, 20 

chestnut, 20 

clearing of, 39, 45, 49, 97, 171, 
172, 176 

deciduous, 20 

in Early Archaic Era, 20, 22 

evergreen, 20 

fir, 20 

gum, 20 

hardwood, 22 

hemlock, 20 

hickory, 20, 39, 40, 122 

in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 
39, 40, 49 

in Mississippian Era, 99, 122 

oak, 20, 22, 40, 122 

pine, 20, 22, 39, 122 

in Post-Revolution Era, 171 

spruce, 20 

sweetgum, 99 
Trenches, 95-96, 109 
Trimble, Stanley, 171 
Trotter's Shoals, 182 
Trunks, 144, 146 
Tuberculosis, 93 
Tucker, Dan, 205, 251 
Tucker's Ferry, 205, 251 
Tugalo village, 128 
Tunacunnhee site, 67, 68 
Turbines, 227-228, 230 
Turkeys, 25, 99, 122 
Turman, Phoebe, 256, 261 
Turner, Patricia, 255 
Turtles, 15, 22, 99, 122 
Tuscarora Indians, 143 
Tuskegee Institute, 261 
TV A , See Tennessee Valley Author- 
Two Little Savages, 25 1 


Typhoid fever, 225 
Tyzzer, Robert, 87 


Uktena myth, 144 
Ulunsuti, 144 
Uniface tools, 35 
University of Alabama, 131 
University of Arkansas, 126 
University of Georgia, 32, 83, 104, 

135, 227 
University of Michigan, 104, 122 
University of North Carolina, 97 
University of South Carolina, 143 
University of South Carolina, 104, 

University of Wisconsin, 104 
University of Wyoming, 11 
Uplands, 20 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1, 

2, 91, 104, 185, 264, 270, 

271, 273 
U.S. Forest Service, 91 
Utensils, 96, 143, 163, 164, 243, 
See also specific types 

Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 160 

Van Creek, 103, 120, 165, 166 

Vandalization of sites, 89, 91, 92, 

Vein quartz, 25 

Verdell family, 259 

Vienna, Georgia, 174 

Vigilante rule, 153 

Villages, See also specific villages 
in Mississippian Era, 79, 89, 104, 

107, 111 
in Transition Era, 134 
in Woodland Era, 64, 72, 74, 76 

Virginia, See also specific places 
in American Revolution, 169 
in Civil War, 201, 203, 204, 205 
in Colonial Era, 143. 147, 150, 

in Middle Archaic Era, 33 
in Paleolndian Era, 15-16 
in Post-Revolution Era, 174 

Voting rights, 216, 217, 218 


Wake Forest University, 104, 118 
Walker, Caroline, 242-243, 243 
Walker, Louella, 262 
Walker, Minnie, 255, 256, 262, 265 
Walnuts, 45, 50, 64, 162 

War of 1812, 175, 205 

War Between the States, See Civil 

War, See also Fighting against 

British (American Revolution), 
153, 154, 157-169 

Civil, See Civil War 

in Colonial Era, 148 

in Late Archaic Ceramic Era, 61 

in Mississippian Era, 79, 101, 

in Transition Era, 125, 126, 136 
"Warwoman," See Hart, Nancy 
Warwoman Creek, 158 
Washington, D.C., 174, 204, 245 
Washington, George, 160, 169, 206 
Wateree River, 134 
Waters, Alice, 245 
Waters, Lester, 245 
Waterwheels, 226 
Weapons, See also specific types 

altered, 63 

in American Revolution, 168 

in Colonial Era, 139, 140, 146, 

in Early Archaic Era, 24, 26 

in Late Archaic Preceramic Era, 

in Middle Archaic Era, 32, 33, 

in Mississippian Era, 90, 95 

in Paleolndian Era, 9, 11, 13, 17 

of Spanish explorers 136 

in theory formation, 71 

in Transition Era, 136 

in Woodland Era, 63 
Weather, 17, 31, See also Climate 
Weaver, David, 1 18 
Weavings, 69-70 
Wedges, 26 
Weeds, 63, 97 
Weirs, 49, 51, 99 
Well pumps, 240 
Wells, Tobe, 263, 264 
West Indies, 140 
Wheat, 163, 173 
White, James, 249 
White, Jim, 248 
White Hall community, 162 
White Mill, 225, 226, 227. 232 
Whitney, Eli, 174 
Wielding tools, 27 
Wild cats, 151 
William Allen House, 194, 195, 

196, 198 
Williamson, Andrew, 157 
Willow bark, 99 
Windover bog, Florida, 69 
Winter houses, 6, 114, 116 
Wire, 146 

Wisconsin, 79 

Wolfhounds of De Soto, 130, 131 

Wolves, 11, 151 

Women, See Females 

Wood, 26, 27, 36, 45, 46, 64, 67, 

70, 144, 146 
Wood, Dean, 40, 45, 50, 53, 64 
Wood, Kay, 135 
Woodland Era, 61, 63-77 

burials in, 65, 66, 67. 69, 76, 77 

farming in, 63, 64, 67 

fishing in, 72 

houses in, 64-65, 66, 70-72, 76 

hunting in, 63, 76 

population size in, 63, 69, 70 
Wooly mammoths, 11-13, 15, 17, 

Works Progress Administration, 187 
Worthy, Linda, 177, 195 
Wrought iron, 226 
Wynn, Jack, 126 
Wyoming, 1 1 
Wyth, John, 142 

Yadkin Triangulars, 63, 64 
Yamacraw Bluff, 150, 163 
Yamasee Indians, 140 
Yarn, 230 
Yellow fever, 174 
Yorktown, Virginia, 169 
Young, C. M., 260 
Young, Matthew, 175 
Yupaha (Cofitachequi) Indians, 132, 
133, 134, 135, 136 


Zinc, 120 
Zooarcheology, 135 


C'emson Univers 

3 1604 012 740 



JUL 8 2001 

may n 1 prPT) 

MAY J 1 nluU 

DEMCO, INC. 38-2931 

"Land is precious, I tell you, people just don 't realize what it means. " 

These words were spoken by Windell Cleveland and recorded by 
investigators in a far-reaching historical and archeological study of people 
who lived near the Savannah River in Georgia and South Carolina. The 
research took nearly 20 years to complete and examined human existence 
through the ages up until modern times. Ancient artifacts from some of 
the earliest people in North America were among the many discoveries. 

The Cleveland home was among many structures traced through the 
years. It was originally part of the town of Edinburg, which thrived in 
the early 1800's as a summer resort. But people eventually abandoned 
the community, like many other places described in Beneath These 
Waters, and Edinburg became one of Georgia's ghost towns. 

Photograph of the Cleveland family circa 1920 from All That Remains, one of the Russell Papers.